One of our longtime friends recently asked a great question. I answer this question often, but I’ve never written the response in text. She asked:
” I am looking to order a pair of glasses soon, but have never worn glasses other than generic sunglasses. What information will I need as far as frame size and how do I find that?”
This is a really great question. Nobody thinks about their eyeglass size unless they’ve had prescription lenses. I recommend visiting a pharmacy or an optical shop and trying on frames. When you find a frame that fits well, note the measurements from the inside arm. Most people have a range of sizes that will fit them, so it will be a more accurate fitting if you find several pair that fit well.
I’ve included four photos in this tutorial. The first one is this diagram of eyeglass measurements.
So what are the measurements and what do they mean? Look at this picture. You’ll typically see the first two numbers on every pair. Sometimes you’ll see the first and third measurements. You’ll rarely ever see the fourth measurement. The measurements are in millimeters. One of the cool things about eyeglass measurements is that they use universal measurements instead of an arbitrary system.
Eye – Also known as the ‘A’ measurement, this is the lens width. The first number, it measures the width of each lens in millimeters. In the picture, the lenses are 50 millimeters wide.
Bridge – Also known as the ‘DBL’ measurement, this measures the width across the bridge of the nose. You can be over, but you don’t want to be under with this number, or the glasses will pinch. Make sure it is comfortable across the bridge and does not pinch. Other things to consider: do I like a solid bridge that rests directly against the nose, or do I like one with little silicone nosepads that prop it up?
To Nosepad or not to Nosepad, that is the question!
Temple: Measures length of the arms on the frame. It measures from where the hinge connects to the front of your glasses at the temple…all the way through the curved part behind the ear. You won’t see much variation in this number, as most glasses are 130, 135, or 140. This number only matters if you have problems with the frame arms sticking out from the back of your head (too long), or cutting into the ear at the bend (too short).
Height – also known as the B measurement – this is the height of the lens. You won’t see this number on frames most of the time. If you need bifocals, this number is important because it will determine where it is practical to put your segment height (dividing line between bifocal top and bottom areas).
Another measurement you won’t see is the ‘ED’ measurement, which measures diagonally across the lens. It’s a shame that this measurement is not common, because it is a great indicator of lens surface area. If it has a high ED number, it’s far more likely to have big lenses. The bigger the lens, the more coverage against peripheral light. I don’t recommend any lens below 50mm ED, with 55 mm ED a good number to aim for. Anything 60 or above is ideal, but most of the frames above 60 are Aviators. That only helps if you like Aviators. (See Photo #3 In Comments Below). Don’t be surprised if your optical shop can’t provide this information, as very few people will ask for it.
ED measurement is diagonal, which is high on bigger lenses. The Aviator frame is a favorite of many men and women, but people feel decisively about it. Choose a frame you love so you’ll enjoy wearing your therapeutic lenses. Photo of man has our lenses in an aviator frame, woman does not have our lenses in her aviator frame.
My last piece of advice: Nothing bits the style, coverage, and fit match of a pair you’ve tried on in person. If you find a pair you love, consider buying it and sending it to us using our Send-In-Your-Frame service. This service is $30 cheaper than our cheapest with-frame options. This can end up costing less than buying a frame from us if you’ve already got one, or you love one under $30. Most eyeglass frames can be filled with our lenses. Only some sunglasses can be filled. If it has removable lenses or can be made with prescription, we can put our lenses in it. Most glasses fit into this category. If it is a cheap frame, it might have lenses that are fused directly to the frame. In that case, we can’t fill the frame. This is most common with cheap sunglasses and novelty frames.
Can’t tell if the frame you own/bought is eligible? Take it to a local optical shop and ask. Alternately, you can ship them to our lab manager for a free consultation. It will cost about $6 to ship your frame to us within the U.S. Please email [email protected] if you’d like a frame consultation from our lab.
There are frame shape rules based on your face shape just like with haircuts. I like this particular article because it has drawings of the different face shapes with the different frames they’re talking about: http://www.selectspecs.com/info/face-shapes/