Archive for the ‘Caring For Your Glasses’ Category

5 Tips for Keeping Your Glasses in Good Condition

broken glasses
While shopping for glasses can and should be fun, if you’re constantly replacing them because of loss or damage, you’re wasting money. What to do? Develop good eyeglass care habits and learn a few basic repair and adjustment skills, and your eyes will be happier and your wallet fuller:
 
1. Buy More than One Case

Eyeglass cases protect your glasses against all kinds of damage, including lens scratches incurred while your glasses bounce around in your purse. Unfortunately, since we wear our glasses in many different locations, its easy to leave an eyeglass case behind on a sink, in your desk drawer, or even in a different purse than what you’re now carrying. If you buy several cases and keep them in the locations where you are most likely to take off your glasses (at home, at the office, in your favorite handbags and backpacks) you’re less likely to leave your glasses unprotected.
 
2. Buy an Eyeglass Cord

Hate losing your glasses? Buy an eyeglass cord. This lets you wear your glasses so you don’t lose them, and keeps them out of your pockets where they are more easily damaged.
 
3. Learn How to Adjust Your Glasses

Don’t assume that there is something wrong with your glasses just because they aren’t comfortable or don’t seem to “fit right.” Just about everyone needs to adjust their glasses: This video by one of Zenni’s opticians can show you how to do it yourself.
 
4. Learn Basic Eyeglass Maintenance

If you can learn how to do your own repairs, you won’t have to spend time and money on getting your glasses fixed. Buy a simple eyeglass tool kit for a few bucks online or at the drugstore.
 
5. Clean Your Glasses Carefully

Smeary lenses are the pits, but resist the urge to use a napkin or your hoodie sleeve to clean them. Fabrics and paper products can scratch the lenses, costing you money when you need to buy a new pair. Microfiber cloths are inexpensive and many come in small sizes that you can tuck into your glass case or wallet for easy use. Never use household cleaners or vinegar on your glasses: They can strip the lenses of protective coatings. A mild dish soap and water solution works just fine, though you can also buy eyeglass cleaning solution at pharmacies.

 
One More Thing

While it’s important to take care of your glasses, it’s also to pay attention to indications that you may need a new pair. If you find yourself leaning forward to read your computer screen, or holding books or objects closer to or further away from your face than normal, it may be time for an eye exam. Be observant of symptoms of eye strain: Headaches, dry eyes, eye redness, and back/neck pain can all be signs that you may need a new prescription.

 

 

Thursday, January, 30 2014 by

How to Measure an Eyeglass Frame

Your prescription has changed and you need a new pair of eyeglasses.

So you take a little trip down to your local optometrist’s office. You’ve been getting your eyeglasses there ever since your first-grade teacher noticed you were squinting at what she wrote on the blackboard.

"... maybe if it was written in English? What's that... they're numbers?... oh"

You go in and look around. You check out the frames. They’ve got all the cool retro wayfarer styles everyone’s wearing. Then you look at a price tag. All of a sudden you have a bad case of sticker shock.

My eyes must be really bad, you think. That can’t say what I think it says. More than $300? Just for the frame?

You ask the optician, who confirms your worst suspicion. Not only that, he gives you a look like he’s saying, if you have to ask how much these glasses cost, you can’t afford them.

That’s it, you say to yourself, after slinking out of there with your hand on your wallet. I’ve had it with these brick-and-mortar eyeglasses stores, where the price gouging feels more like eye gouging. I’m finally going to do it. I’m going to order glasses online, and save all that money I’ve been hearing about.

Congratulations!

You’ve just made a decision worth hundreds of dollars. Maybe even thousands in the long run. It’s true. If you shop carefully online, you’ll find prices for discount eyeglass frames and lenses so low you could buy high-quality, stylish eyeglasses for your whole family online for what it would cost to buy just one pair for you locally.

Subtle... am I right?

But there’s a major pitfall to avoid when you order glasses online.

How can you make sure the glasses you buy over the internet will fit you if you can’t try them on before you buy them?

That’s a great question. We have an even better answer.

Here is how to make sure the glasses you buy online will fit you well when they come in the mail, and you take them out of the package and try them on.

First, if you already have a pair of eyeglasses that fits you well and looks good on your face, you’re ahead of the game.

All you have to do is get the frame dimensions from these eyeglasses, and order a pair online that matches those dimensions.

It doesn’t even have to be an exact match. All eyeglass frame dimensions are listed in millimeters. A millimeter is a tiny unit of measurement. There are 25.4 millimeters to an inch. So you have a leeway of a few millimeters on each element of a frame.

Those elements are:

The bridge. This is the part of the frame that goes across the bridge of your nose. That’s why it’s called the bridge.

The temple arm. Those are the parts that connect to the front of the frame on either side of your head and rest behind your ear. Sometimes people call the temple arms “legs,” “stems,” or even “bows,” but in the optical industry they’re called temple arms, because they are next to your temple.

The lens width. This is the diameter of one lens, measured at the widest part. It’s also called the “eye size” in the optical industry, which doesn’t make a lot of sense, because it’s not the measurement of the size of your eye; it’s the measurement of the width of your eyeglasses’ lens. We’re mentioning this because sometimes eye doctors will suggest frame dimensions and write these on your prescription. When they do, they may write “eye size” on the prescription when they mean the lens width. So don’t worry about matching that number with the size of your eye. It’s the width of one eyeglass lens.

The lens height. This is measured just like the lens width, but vertically, not horizontally. If your prescription includes an NV-ADD (Near-Vision reading ADDition) number, you can order bifocal or progressive glasses. This is where the lens height measurement becomes crucial: The lens height must be at least 30 millimeters to accommodate a bifocal or progressive prescription.

The frame width. This is the most important measurement on a frame to determine whether it will fit you well and look good on your face. It’s the measurement of the entire front of the frame, from the point that sticks out farthest on the left, to the point that sticks out farthest on the right. Or vice versa.

Remember when we said that if you have a pair of glasses right now that fits you well and looks good on your face you are ahead of the game? Well, you’re rounding third and heading for home if on the inside of one of your temple arms you have three numbers, which are the dimensions of, in order, the lens width, the bridge, and the temple length.

Most of the time, if the numbers are stamped on the inside of the temple arm, they will be listed the way they are in the first example, on the left.  (Ignore the first number on the temple arm that precedes these numbers; that will just be the manufacturer’s model or stock number.)

After this model or stock number, the lens width comes first, the bridge is next, and the temple arm is last. Sometimes it could be listed the way it is in the second example, on the right, with the temple arm length first, the lens width next, and the bridge last. Either way, there will usually be a little square between the first and second numbers.

You may even see a pair of glasses that has these numbers stamped or engraved on the inside of the bridge, but this is rare.

If you have the numbers stamped on the inside of the temple arm or on another element of the frame, the only other measurements you need are the frame width and the lens height.

If you don’t have numbers stamped on the inside of the temple arm, you can measure the dimensions of your frame elements with a millimeter ruler. Don’t have a millimeter ruler? Not a problem; you can get one at any drug or dollar store. However, if you have a cloth tape measure with millimeter hash marks, this would be the best measuring tool to use, especially when we come to the temple arm measurement.

Here’s how to measure each element we discussed:

The bridge. Measure horizontally, at the top of the bridge, from the edge of one lens to the edge of the other lens. The part of the frame that holds the lenses in place will be included in the measurement, since you’re measuring from lens edge to lens edge, not frame edge to frame edge.

The temple arm. This is the measurement for which a cloth measuring tape with millimeter hash marks would come in handy. Here’s why: The temple arm is measured from the hinge – where the temple arm connects to the front of the frame – all the way back to the tip.

The measurement includes the bend around the ear, which is why a cloth tape measure is useful for this measurement. If you have a cloth tape measure, you can measure the curve easily. If you’re using a plastic or wood straight-edged ruler, it would be best to do the measurement in two parts.

Start at the hinge, measure to the beginning of the bend, and write that measurement down. Then go back to where you left off, right at the beginning of the bend. Measure the last part, which is angled, to the tip. Add the two sectional measurements together, and that’s the total temple arm length.

You may have a pair of glasses with cable temple arms, the kind that curve around your ear. (pictured above)

If you don’t have a cloth millimeter tape measure, you could print out the downloadable PD ruler at the Zenni Optical website, www.zennioptical.com:

Click here for a larger image

You can use this paper ruler to measure the cable temple arm. Or you could cut a strip of paper about a half-inch wide and 10 inches long. Mark the little paper strip where you begin measuring the temple arm at the hinge. Curve the paper strip around the curve of the temple arm and mark it where the temple arm ends. Stretch out the paper strip and measure the length with a millimeter ruler. That’s your cable temple arm length.

The frame width. Again, it’s the entire horizontal measurement of the front of the frame, measured from the part that extends farthest outward on one side to the part that extends farthest outward on the other side. A metal frame may have a little piece that sticks out on the side toward the top, like the part that extends from the outer edge of the lens on a pair of rimless glasses, just before bending to meet the hinge of the temple arm, such as on this rimless frame:

If you do have a frame such as this one, or any frame with a piece that sticks out on the side, you would include that part of the frame, on each side, in your measurement of the frame width. Whether a frame is too big, too small, or just right for your face is mostly determined by the frame width. Also, make sure you do this measurement at the front of the frame. You don’t need to measure the distance between the two temple arms at the back of the frame.

The lens width. If the width of the frame you are shopping for online matches within two or three millimeters the width of the frame you have that fits you well, you can be confident that the frame you see online will fit you just as well. But be aware of the lens width: even though the total frame width might match the width of your frame, the lens width might be a little narrow or wide for your pupillary distance, which is the measurement of the distance between the middle of each pupil. This measurement determines where to place the optical center on each lens.

The lens height. This is measured just like the lens width, but vertically, not horizontally. Once again, the lens height must be at least 30 millimeters to accommodate a bifocal or progressive prescription. In addition, pay attention to the lens height, because this is an important factor in determining how the glasses will look on your face. If you get a frame with a tall lens height, something over 36 millimeters, the glasses may look too big for your face. Conversely, a too-short lens height, lower than 30 millimeters, may not provide all the corrected-vision coverage your eyes need.

Once you have the measurements of your frame, you can shop for a frame online that will fit you.

Remember, you have a leeway of a few millimeters on each element, with a caveat: Stick to no more than two millimeters higher or lower on the bridge. For example, if your perfect bridge measurement is 18 millimeters, you can go as low as two below that, 16 millimeters, or as high as two above, 20 millimeters. Therefore, a bridge that’s anywhere between 16-20 millimeters should fit you just fine.

Also, if you’re getting a frame with adjustable nose pads, this gives you even more leeway, because the nose pads can be adjusted for the best fit. Pinch them closer together to make the bridge fit more snugly and rest higher on your nose; spread them apart to loosen the fit and let them rest lower on your nose.

On the frame width, lens width, and lens height, you should be fine with a leeway of three millimeters. Therefore, if your perfect frame is 135 millimeters wide, frames between 132-138 millimeters should fit you just as well.

Since many temple arms are adjustable at the curve where the temple arm bends behind your ear, you have a leeway of as many as four millimeters. In that case, if the temple arm on your eyeglasses is 140 millimeters, you will be fine with a temple arm that falls between 136-144 millimeters. However, many temple arms are not adjustable, especially those made of aluminum alloy, titanium, memory titanium, and memory plastic. Check the temple arm material listed in the description of the frame to be sure. Also, look at an enlarged picture of the online glasses. If you can see that embedded in the temple arm is a stainless steel rod, you can be confident that this frame’s temple arm is adjustable.

Here are a few more things to keep in mind. The vintage styles from 50 years ago and more that are popular today were often worn much smaller than glasses are today. This is because lenses were made of glass then, and the heaviness of glass caused eyeglasses manufacturers to keep the lenses as small as possible.

Conversely, eyeglasses in the ’70s were frequently oversized, such as these worn by the late Hollywood super-agent Irving Paul Lazar:

When you're an ex-president's literary agent you can pretty much wear whatever you want.

Another thing to keep in mind is how strong your prescription is. If you have a strong prescription, +/- 6.00, the wider and thicker your lenses will be, on the outer edge with a minus sphere (nearsighted) prescription, in the middle with a plus sphere (farsighted) prescription. Therefore, if you have a strong prescription you may want to stick with lens widths that are lower than 50 millimeters.

Good luck!

Friday, December, 6 2013 by

Keeping an eye on your glasses

lost glasses
 
I started wearing glasses a couple of months ago and while I appreciate having better vision and no longer suffering from eye strain headaches, I’m also finding myself occasionally running around my apartment wailing “Where are my glasses?”
 
It can be annoying.
 
Of course, I’m not alone in this. I remember my mother and grandparents periodically losing their glasses over the years and the mad dash as we all tried to find them. Now it’s my turn to lose my specs, so I’ve been pumping folks for tips on how to avoid the hassles of mislaid eyewear.
 
Here’s what I’ve learned:
 
Wear Your Glasses
Obviously the easiest way to avoid losing your glasses is to keep them on your face. But if you wear readers, or sometimes prefer to work and live without your glasses, you can still keep them on your body by either pushing them to the top of your head, hanging them on your collar, dangling them from a neck chain or keeping them in a breast pocket. Make doing these things a habit and you’ll cut down on the chances of stashing your glasses in some strange place that you’ll never think to check.
 
A Word About Readers:
I suspect that reading glasses go missing more than other types of spectacles, simply because we are constantly taking them off, then putting them back on, during the day. Talk to your eye doctor about the possibility of getting bifocals or progressives. You can keep these glasses on all the time, reducing opportunities for misplacing them.
 
At Home
If wearing your glasses on your body doesn’t work for you, establish some places around your home for storing your glasses. One way to do this is to buy several different eyeglass cases and then putting them in safe places in the rooms that you visit most. For example, you could put one glass case in the top drawer of your home office desk, another on a small shelf in the kitchen and a third in your basement workshop cabinet. If you need to take your glasses off in these rooms, put them in these cases and nowhere else.
 
Purses and Backpacks
Hunting for glasses in a full backpack or purse, particularly when you can’t see what you are doing, is never any fun. Choose purses and backpacks that have special pockets large enough to accommodate your glasses and only use these pockets when carrying your glasses around.
 
Traveling
Few things are worse than losing your glasses while traveling, so it’s important to keep your glasses nearby while you are on the road or in the air. Don’t ever keep your glasses in the seat pocket on an airplane: You are sure to forget them there. Even if you aren’t fond of wearing your glasses on a neck cord, it is probably best to use one while on the plane. This keeps your glasses handy and you won’t have to constantly be taking your purse or briefcase out from storage or under the seat ahead of you to store or retrieve them.
 
Make sure you have access to information about your eyeglass prescription in case you need to replace them while you are out of town.
 
In Your Car
Some companies sell eyeglass cases that clip to your sun visor. These not only keep your glasses handy and in a familiar place, but it makes it very easy for you to switch between regular and sunglasses when driving.
 
Keep a Spare Pair
Despite your best efforts, there is still the possibility that you’ll end up losing your glasses at some point. Keeping an extra pair or two around can be a lifesaver, particularly if you have significant vision problems.
 

Tuesday, December, 3 2013 by

Have Glasses, Will Travel: How To Store Eyewear On Vacation

Whether you stay at a fancy hotel or rough it in a tent this summer, storing and caring for your prescription glasses and/or sunglasses is something that should definitely be planned for during your trip preparations. Here are some of our best tips for vacation eyewear storage:
 

Don’t forget the cleaning cloths! Drying or polishing your eyeglasses on your t-shirt or with a paper towel can scratch the coatings. Only a microfiber cleaning cloth made for eyewear lenses should be used and it’s so easy to take along and use anywhere.
 

Eyeglass Cases and Cleaning Cloths for only $2.20!
glasses case and cleaning cloth

Zenni has many colors and patterns of both cloths and cases available. Just click on the image above to view more choices in the online catalog.
 
Get a case! Always use at least a soft case for your eyeglasses or sunglasses for storage when you’re not wearing them. Choosing a brightly colored case is not only a fun idea for vacation travel, but it may help prevent the likelihood of you forgetting your glasses in a restaurant or stop someone from stepping on them at the beach.
 
Sunshades are your friend. A great way not to have to worry about both your prescription glasses and prescription sunglasses is to consider adding a matching clip-on sunshade to your Zenni prescription eyewear order for double duty in one pair.
 

Hard cases are helpful. Especially if you’ll be traveling with children, you may want to use hard storage cases rather than soft ones to add a little more protection for kids’ and adults’ eyewear.
 
Be prepared! It’s usually a good idea to carry a spare pair of glasses and sunglasses for each member of the family
 
Fun for the family. Letting kids decorate their plastic glasses case with stickers can provide a fun vacation activity and get them more interested in caring for their eyewear too.
 
Fun Children’s Sunglass Chains for only $1.95!
children's sunglass chain
Click on the image above to see all of the fun children’s sunglass chains from Zenni! There are tons of great colors and styles to choose from.
 

Use ‘em don’t lose ‘em! An eyeglasses chain can help prevent children from losing their sunglasses on the beach, playground or anywhere
 
Easy storage. At the cottage or hotel, kids’ sunglasses on chains can be hung on hooks (or over a towel bar or clothes hanger) for out-of-the-way storage
 
That goes for you “grown-ups” too! Adults can benefit from having sunglasses chains on vacation too and Zenni has styles and colors to suit everyone.
 
Adult Glasses Chains starting at only $3.95!
adult glasses chain
Zenni has an amazing selection of glasses chains for adults too. Click the image above to browse our styles!
 
Road trip tip: Use a clip! On the road, store sunglasses in one of the many visor clips available on the market rather than trying to twist eyewear arms to try to keep your glasses overhead.  A secure sunglasses-holding clip means you don’t have to worry about the glasses falling and distracting you from keeping your eyes on the road. For storing eyewear in cases during road trips, a back-of-the-seat type of nylon organizer with different compartments can work well.

Thursday, August, 29 2013 by

Frame Storage — Store-bought Solutions To Inspire You

Whether you find yourself going on one too many searches through your home to hunt down where you left your glasses or you need quick ideas on how to store eyewear, this post aims to help. As a bonus, many of these store-bought storage solutions for glasses could be given as gifts for Father’s Day, birthdays or other occasions. We all have different tastes, with some of us liking whimsical or creative ideas and others preferring more traditional storage solutions, but hopefully, you’ll find at least one idea that will inspire you to keep an eye out for frame storage that suits your style.

The Nose Has It

Nose Eyeglasses Holder/Mustache Key Hook    Art Akimbo, Etsy.com    $42.61

A humorous stand to rest a pair of glasses on makes keeping track of eyewear a lot of fun. Something like this could also make an ideal Father’s Day gift for a glasses-wearing dad.

Tray Chic

Photo Credits: Behind Closed Drawers.com

 There are oodles of these organizer trays around that can be found inexpensively in department or discount stores. There’s no reason any drawer has to look junky anymore! For stowing your glasses, look for compartments about 7″ x 3″ inside the trays — or whatever will best fit your eyewear.

 

Hold Everything

Waterproof Plastic Eyeglasses Holders   Decorative Things.com   $20 each

These easy-to-wipe-clean eyeglasses-shaped holders offer a cute storage solution for a desktop, nightstand or just about anywhere. Their decorative patterns and colors can add style to your home or office while giving you an easily-remembered place to rest your glasses.

Bend It Like Goony

Goony Modular Holder/Tray   www.Cube Shops.com   $24

Is it a sculpture, pronged holder or mini tray? The answer is that it’s all three combined into one creative storage idea. Sculpt the “Goony” to suit your mood and storage needs. For example, the “fingers” also hold items such as notes and photos and a tray-style configuration could give you a different type of container for your eyeglasses and/or watch or jewelry. Choose from pink, green, yellow, black or white.

Something Old Into Something New

 

Photo Credits: Apartment Therapy.com

Apartment Therapy.com suggests giving clear-pocketed, hanging shoe storage bags new uses — and of course, these little pockets are excellent for storing eyewear! Give each pair of your prescription or non-prescription glasses and sunglasses its own “home” pocket and you’ll still probably have plenty of room in your hanging organizer for cases, cleaning cloths and other eyewear accessories.

Take A Stand

 

2 Pair Clear Acrylic Eyeglasses Stand   Acrylic Home Design.com   $17.68

Fitting in with any decorating color scheme, this clear acrylic organizer will hold two pair of eyewear. Whether you place this in your closet or office, this approach is nice for contemporary styles.

It’s In The Bag

 

Soft Protective Eyeglasses Cases/Microfiber Cleaning Cloth   ZenniOptical.com  $1.68/case – $2.20/set

Zenni offers a collection of decorative eyewear cases and cleaning cloths. These feature beautiful images on one side and a solid, neutral color on the other. Stock up for yourself or little gifts as these cases and cloths are just so inexpensive and practical for protecting and caring for all of your eyewear. Plus, how can it not be fun to polish your lenses with a mountain or a kayak? (Click on the images above for ordering information.)

 

 

 Boxed Set

Blue Allure Folding Fiberboard Boxes   The Container Store.com   $12.99 — $19.99 each

Once you have your glasses in protective cases, storing them in a decorative box in the colors of your home can be a practical storage solution. The colorful storage boxes can be showcased on a bookshelf out in the open with books, plants and decor items or placed on a closet shelf or inside an organizer system.

Friday, May, 24 2013 by