Archive for the ‘Glasses Facts’ Category

Eye Facts: Reading Glasses And Aging

The realization of a need for reading glasses usually kicks in when the smaller print we’ve been seeing no problem, such as the small font used at the bottom of a grocery coupon or on a bottle of over-the-counter headache medication, suddenly seems to be impossible to read.

As we age, our eyes just can’t focus as well as they used to on close up objects. The tech term is presbyopia which comes from the Greek words “ops” for eyes and “presbys” for elder. Here are some interesting facts on presbyopia and aging, followed by some suggestions for Zenni reading glasses that are both stylish and sensible:

old person reading glasses

* Scientists are as yet unable to fully explain the exact reasons why presbyopia is likely to occur during the natural aging process. Research suggests that it may be a result of reduced elasticity in the lenses of the eyes — and we know this certainly happens to aging skin.

*Although presbyopia, and the need for reading glasses, happens most commonly between ages 40 – 50, the fact is that even by age 25, many of us are experiencing a decline in our vision of objects up close. This may just involve not being able to see the objects or small print in a dim light when before, as a child or young adult, we could see these things in any kind of lighting.

*Symptoms of eye strain, such as headaches and/or sore eyes, while doing close up activities such as reading, needlework, repair work or puzzles, may be a sign of worsening presbyopia that requires reading glasses. Since eye strain is caused by the eyes having to work harder to focus and reading glasses provide better vision to aid the eyes in focusing, many people find headaches and soreness in the eyes to be either greatly reduced or no longer present by wearing these glasses.

*Studies show that people whose work involves close up tasks, such as factory inspectors and jewelry makers just to name two, tend to go to their eye doctor about reduced near vision sooner that those who are not employed in these sorts of fields. The best thing to do is not to wait at all though, since why suffer from eyestrain if a pair of reading glasses  is going to solve the problem? This is most likely why most people do eventually face their presbyopia and why reading glasses remain so popular in our aging population!

What To Look For When Selecting Reading Glasses


Lightweight Construction

Choose lightweight metal or plastic reading glasses. If you have metal allergies, go with hypoallergenic metal frames.

Adjustable Nose Pads

Look for reading glasses with adjustable silicone nose pads since they are best for helping to prevent eyewear from slipping. Many people read with their heads lowered or in a reclining position, so having glasses that don’t slip is essential.

Comfortable Fit

Be sure to consider your face size and the frame size. Zenni’s frames are identified in the online catalog on a scale of small to large fitting. If you have a large face and pick a frame that is too small, or have a small face and opt for a large frame for your reading glasses, this may weaken the effect of the vision correction properities and cause eyestrain. Take the time to select the correct frame size for your face. (To check out Zenni’s large selection of glasses that you may want to order as reading glasses, just click on any of our suggestion models below to access the online catalog.)


Look for Zenni’s great features such spring hinge closures, metal for strength and flexible plastic for “give.” These really add up to durable reading glasses — especially if you tend to fall asleep while reading. You don’t want to wake up to find a pair of mangled glasses!


Pick a pair of reading glasses that thrill you to wear and you’ll most likely remember to always put them on when scouring the newspaper or turning the pages of the latest bestseller.  If you need a pair of reading glasses for work, consider getting two pairs — one for home and one for the office.

Great Zenni Custom Reading Glasses Ideas:

(Click on the images below for more info)

zenni pink frame glasses

Zenni 554419 Women's Elegant Pink Frame Only $19.00

black frame reading glasses

Zenni 766421 Men's Stylish Half-Rim Black Frame Only $29.95

women's round frame reading glasses

Zenni 557418 Women's Round Frame with Decorative Open Temples Only $19.00

men's half frame black reading glasses

Zenni 792621 Men's Half-Rim Black Frame with Flexible Arms Only $23.95

women's purple cat eye frame

Zenni 798017 Women's Purple Cat Eye Frame Only $25.95

rectangular brown metal full rim

Zenni 216615 Rectangular Brown Metal Full Rim Frame Only $27.95


Wednesday, August, 28 2013 by

Trends Of 2013: Retro Mirrored Sunglasses

Retro mirrored glasses are back for 2013 and they’re lookin’ good! Wear an eye-catching, mirrored frame with all your trendy Spring/Summer 2013 fashion picks whether you go for one or more of: bright colors, ombre, metallic fabrics, white t-shirts or mixed graphic patterns in neutral tones.

Photo Credit: Elle magazine / Who What Wear

How many Spring/Summer 2013 trends can you spot here? (Don’t forget the dark green nails.) We love how the metallic sarong skirt and shiny purse play up the mirrored glasses. The bright-colored, classic sweater with the white t-shirt peeking out gives this outfit livability. This is city street style at its finest.


Zenni Non-Rx A10161222 $19.00

Add to your city street style creds with sleek, mirrored sunglasses like these Zenni A10161222 non-prescription sunnies. These half-rim, 100% UV protection sunglasses have a mirrored, red-tinted outer with grey tinting on the inside of the polycarbonate lenses.  The frame is made of quality TR90 plastic with an anti-slip silicone nose pad for extra comfort. You get all this with an anti-scratch coating included for only $19.00, so you’ll have plenty left over for a fabulous over the shoulder chain purse!

Photo Credit: Street Style Seconds

Here’s more street style and more trends. We like the idea of mixing two solids and two patterns in a variety of neutral fabrics. Whether or not ombre hair is your thing, it’s so easy to mix solid and patterned neutrals in a top, bottom, jacket and tote, then top it off with a brightly-colored pair of mirrored sunnies. Don’t you think the mirrored lenses also brighten up the flatness of neutrals?

Zenni NonRX A10160716 $19.00

Zenni A10160716 non-prescription sunglasses are just right for brightening up neutrals anytime. These beautiful, royal blue, half-rim sunnies with mirrored lenses offer 100% UV protection in Spring/Summer 2013 style. They are so fun to wear and so practical at only $19.00.

Photo Credit: Coutere Me Crazy

The shape of things to come this summer is to go bold or go home. These eye-catching, retro mirrored glasses looks exude confidence and strength.

Zenni NonRX A10184830 $15.95

Don’t be shy; these Zenni high-style retro mirrored, non-prescription sunglasses will probably look better on you than you think — great, actually! Click on the glasses image to get into the Zenni catalog and try the Frame Fit on the right side of the page by uploading your face picture to try these on.

Photo Credit: Scrambled Fashion

Purple mirrored retro sunglasses can be just the ticket for a fun Summer 2013. Check out the cool Zenni version below.


Zenni NonRX A10160617 $19.00

These non-prescription, Zenni A10160617 sunnies will make any day cooler fashion-wise while giving you the 100% UV protection you need for healthy eyes. This women’s half-rim, fashion frame is made of quality TR90 plastic with anti -slip temple arms and nose pad for comfort. The grey-tinted, mirrored, polycarbonate lenses offer maximum eye comfort and an ultra-cool look at the same time. Grey tints distort colors much less than amber ones, by the way and these sunnies are only $19.00!


Why Mirrored Coatings?

Mirror-finished sunglasses don’t just create awesome fashion eyewear, but they are effective light blockers. Adding a mirror coating means that your sunglasses will now reduce between 10-60% more light than regular sunnies. This difference can allow you to see surfaces such as sand, water and snow much better. So, retro mirrored sunglasses aren’t just chic, but in a way can be thought of as safety glasses. If you are able to see surfaces better in the sun, you’re going to be less likely to misjudge distances and more likely to notice that old log sticking out of the water near your boat, for example.



Monday, June, 10 2013 by

Do You Want Glasses Like Pope Francis’?

Jorge Mario Bergoglio, better known as Pope Francis, the newest papal dignitary, seems to be spending a lot of time reaching out to the masses by making public appearances as well as getting involved in some controversial news stories. The 76 year old even has millions of Twitter followers to whom he Tweeted: “Dear Friends, I thank you from my heart and I ask you to continue to pray for me.” Well, he may need a lot of prayers if the media keep calling him an exorcist or he keeps irritating the Vatican with his atheist-friendly attitude. Well we do like his round, classic John Lennon-style glasses that are back in style. But, why are these glasses mysteriously absent in photos taken the day after he first wore them as Pope?


The Mystery Of The Disappearing Eyeglasses

Photo Credits: Rueters/Frontpage


Photo Credits: Reuters


One picture above is not like the other. Although the photos were taken only a day apart and Pope Francis wore the same papal garment, his glasses are oddly missing in the second photo. It gets even odder as a closer look at the second photo shows a pretty much identical pair of round glasses on Cardinal Agostino Vallini, Vicar General of Rome, who also happens to look amazingly like Pope Francis in both build and facial features. I guess we’ll never know whether one of them borrowed the other’s glasses or what happened, but for sure this is a nice style on older men — that we can say with certainty. We’ve gathered up some great, similar Zenni styles below, plus added a few frames close to the style of the other man in the photo — Cardinal Santos Abril of Spain:


 Zenni 550011  $9.95

This frame has spring hinges for maximum durability at such a low price! It’s a silver-toned, medium-fit frame of lightweight, metal alloy that’s also available in bifocal and progressive prescriptions as well as single vision. This is just the perfect frame for papal visits — or just running errands!

Zenni 322111 $19.00

If you want to go a little more oval  than completely round in lens-shape while still retaining Pope Francis’ basic eyewear look, the Zenni 322111 frame is a nice choice. This frame is actually available in 37 different lens shapes!


Zenni 589021 $27.95

Here’s a practical summer version of Pope Francis’ round eyewear style. Rather than silver or gold metal tones, this lightweight metal alloy frame has a thin, full rim in black which is flattering on many people. The detachable, polarized sunshades are an exact fit to the Zenni 589021 frame, so you get a smooth look in a prong-mounted setting. The fit is medium-large and single vision, bifocal and progressive prescriptions are all available.


Zenni 229721 $12.95

Certainly not just for cardinals, this medium-fit, single vision frame features a thick upper section with rimless lower lenses for a contemporary look. It’s ideal for those who prefer the style of thicker frames — especially at the temples. The temple arms also have an attractive striping detail — to make you feel years younger while still looking age-appropriate.


Zenni 793121 $25.95

A really stylish, trendy version of Cardinal Santos’ glasses, the Zenni 793121 frame is a smart, black and gray half-rim design with distinguished-looking, yet fashionable, temple arms. This medium-fit, single vision, men’s frame has a pleasing finish in hypoallergenic, black stainless steel. Very nice! — now back to Pope Francis …


Pope Francis, The Atheist-Supporting Exorcist?

Disappearing eyeglasses on Pope Francis is the least of the Vatican’s concerns these days. The Pope caused a media stir when he was recently reported as performing an exorcism when he laid his hands on a young man’s head after a St. Peter’s Square Vatican City mass. Then, a few days later, the Pope sermonizing that atheists can do as much good as believers once again had the Vatican a little agitated. It’ll be interesting to see what Pope Francis will do or say next — and whether round or other glasses will make a reappearance!



Tuesday, May, 28 2013 by

Informational Eyeglasses

Back in the day, people were just happy if their eyeglasses helped them to see properly. Technical innovations in glasses were more along the lines of bifocals or progressive lenses. Then came sunglasses, which helped people see better in bright light.

Then, of course, people got savvy about the sun and eyeglass manufacturers began to add UV coatings to the lenses of standard eyewear and sunglasses alike. This change protected eyes against sun damage, helping to prevent eye irritation, eye damage and even lowering the risk of cancer.

But now technology is going a step further: Not only can you use your glasses to see information, the glasses themselves have become an information source. The best known innovation in this area is, of course, the Google Glass, which provides you with the time, maps, and even product information as you look through it. But now there’s news of some even more specialized eyewear, designed to assist athletic performance.

Some of these options, according to YNN’s interview with Andrew Karp of Vision Monday Newspaper, include the creation of ski goggles or sunglasses that could provide information about how fast a person was skiing or running.

In fact, at least one company now offers a snap-in attachment that keeps track of a skier’s position, which not only makes cross country skiing easier (no more having to stop to consult a map) but safer, since the skier is less likely to get lost.  The device also tracks the skier’s speed, and offers both smartphone connectivity and a buddy tracking system.

Reading about these sporting innovations got me thinking about what other information I’d like my glasses, or an eyeglass attachment, to provide.

My first thought was that weather information would be particularly useful for athletes and non-athletes alike, along with information about traffic issues (runners, cyclists and walkers may want to avoid traffic jams or accident sites). Another possibility is connecting an eyeglass information attachment to a pedometer or calorie-burning meter via Bluetooth, so wearers could monitor the effectiveness of their workouts.

What sort of information would you like your eyewear to give you?

Wednesday, April, 17 2013 by

How To Donate Old Or New Eyeglasses

At this time of year, many of us like to put an extra focus on giving to charity. Donating old glasses and/or money or gift cards for new eyeglasses to charities who help needy people is certainly going to change lives for the better. It can be difficult to fathom that these days, with so many quality, bargain priced glasses available on the internet, that anyone wouldn’t be able to buy a pair of eyeglasses.  In actuality, many people in developing countries earn less than a $1 a day and, according to the World Health Organization, there are an estimated 246 million people worldwide who need, but cannot afford or access eyeglasses. At Zenni Optical, we donated 170,000 dollars in prescription eyeglasses in 2012 alone to help combat this growing problem. And here are some popular charitable organizations that help match needy people with donated eyewear as well as some food for thought about donating glasses:

Lions Clubs Internationalhave drop boxes to collect old eyeglasses in many schools, community centers, optometrist practices, cafes etc. Lions Club Eyeglass Recycling Centers are also located in Canada, France, Italy, South America and Spain, plus these 11 US states: Alaska, Arizona, California, Indiana, New Jersey, Minnesota, Oregon, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.)

One Sight — distributes donated, recycled glasses to needy people in poor countries such as Guyana. One Sight has donation centers located in Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand and North America.

New Eyes for the Needy — partner with charitable health organizations to provide eyewear for needy people worldwide. In addition to accepting donations of old glasses at their New Jersey headquarters, New Eyes for the Needy also accepts monetary donations used to purchase eyeglasses for exact prescriptions for people living in poverty.

Vision Aid Overseas – creates Vision Centers to provide eyecare in impoverished areas in Ghana, Ethiopia, Uganda and Zambia. Without this care, people here wouldn’t even have access to basic eye exams. Vision Aid Oversees accepts monetary donates to provide prescription eyeglasses for the needy as well as donations of old glasses.

Old Vs. New

Since old prescription eyeglasses were first created for another person, sometimes it is difficult for charities to find an exact match to help a needy person. Yet, without even as close of a match as possible, many people who need vision correction will have no chance to improve their vision with eyewear, so donating old eyewear is still very important. There are cases in which people were nearly blind, but were then able to see much better thanks to someone donating an old back up pair of glasses that otherwise would have been thrown in the garbage. So, it is crucial for old eyewear to be recycled and distributed worldwide.

At the same time, donating money or gift cards to purchase new eyewear as well is also a great idea because if old glasses can’t help a needy person requiring vision correction, then a custom made prescription can likely provide the solution. It’s a good idea to contact charities you’re interested in donating money or eyewear gift cards to first to find out the details about their needs. If a certain organization isn’t located in your country or region, then consider contacting the location closest to you to find out donation details.

Other Ideas

In addition to donating eyeglasses internationally, regionally or statewide, you may want to consider helping people in your city if there is a need. Homeless shelters and groups who help the homeless can be a good start. For example, you could team up with a group who helps the needy to create a fundraising drive to purchase new glasses made to prescription for needy children, adults and seniors in your community.

Remember though, that even donating one pair of your old eyeglasses can change the life of one person somewhere in the world and that can be enough.

Thursday, January, 10 2013 by