Best Frame Choices for your Lifestyle

10:30 AM

We've talked about selecting frame choices for your face shape (see these posts), but your frame selection has more importance than just style.  If you wear your glasses most of the day, they need to be specialized to perform for your daily activities.  The shape and sizes of frames can have a big impact on how happy you are with your glasses on a daily basis!  Here's a breakdown of the best choices for frame design depending on your occupation/lifestyle.

1) Computer Use

Computer users spend often long hours at the screen.  In addition to anti-reflective coatings and tints, your frame size can really improve comfort at the computer.  Your best choice depends on your personal work set-up and prescription:

  • Single Vision Lenses; 1 computer screen:  In this case, smaller sized glasses can be better.  You want your glasses to be light weight, and smaller frames will limit the amount of bulk on your face.  When there is only one prescription in your lenses, you can always look through the center of your glasses and be in the right "spot" for your best vision.  Most of my patients prefer frames with nosepads at the computer so they can be adjusted to sit in the right place and with minimal pressure.  Frames without nosepads are comfortable too, but tend to slide around easily depending on the shape of the bridge of the nose.
Dolce and Gabana  rimless frames with adjustable nosepads--perfect for work
If you prefer plastic frames, try smaller eyesize brands like Kate Spade; light weight and comfortable all day long
  • 2 computer screens:  My patients often do better with slightly larger frames in this case.  The smaller your lenses are, the less area you have to be able to cut your eyes from side to side, meaning more head and neck turning.  With 2 large screens, a slightly larger lens size means less turning of your head back and forth to stay in the central area of the glasses.
  • Deeper segment, larger lens size, adjustable nosepads, and semi-rimless to reduce weight on your nose.  These Ray Bans would be perfect for work if you need a larger lens size
  • Progressive or bifocals:  If you are wearing bifocals or full progressives (no-line bifocals) at the computer, you know that turning your neck up all day to be in the right spot is brutal on your spine.  I often recommend larger frame sizes for progressives to distribute the power better through the lens, but if it is too large, you are going to have to tilt your head back quite a bit to enter the computer area.  One solution is having separate computer glasses.  Smaller lens sizes will put the computer zone closer to the optical center of your glasses, but don't go too small!  If you computer zone is only 1-2 centimeters of the lens, it's going to be a lot more tedious to find than if you had larger glasses where the computer zone was 4-5 centimeters. This is why your optician is so vital to helping with frame selection when you wear multifocal glasses!
2) Long-Hour Drivers

Put Transition lenses in these Linda Farrow frames
and they could easily look just like normal sunglasses when
in sunlight.  Larger frame size means you are less likely to see
over the edge of the frame in your peripheral vision
If you spend a lot of time in the car, you know that sun protection and peripheral vision are really important for the performance of your glasses.  I like larger frame sizes for road warriors because if you can see the outline of your frame all day in your peripheral vision, it is going to be very distracting to checking your blind spots.   Many drivers find that Transitions (where the lens turns dark in sunlight) are not great in the car for sun protection because the UV blocker in your windshield keeps the lenses from turning truly dark.  They now make more active materials that darken better in these conditions, but many drivers prefer a fully tinted pair of sunglasses.  Wrapped frames are a great option if your prescription allows to protect delicate eyelid skin from too much UV exposure from your side windows!  And while polarized is a great option for vision quality, it will keep you from being able to see different digital panels, like your radio.
Oakley wrapped frames are great options for
people exposed to a ton of dangerous UV light

3) Outdoor Workers

If you spend a lot of time outside, sunglasses are a must.  The more wrap, the fuller, better protection. Skin cancer is so common in today's 
world, so remember that wearing sunglasses not
only protects your eyes from sun damage, it also protects your sensitive eyelid skin, where the skin cancers are very commonly found!

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