Why is the fit of my spectacles so important

Sonja Moolman - B.Optom (RAU)

Your eyes are never the same.

 Like being stronger with one hand or foot, you will always have a dominant eye. 

People tend to compare the vision of their two eyes, but for your visual system to work to the best of its ability, you need both eyes to function at its own optimum level and then working together.

It all starts in the test room. The optometrist performs various tests to determine the best prescription for each eye. He/she then does binocular balancing tests to see what prescription works the best to get optimal results. 

Eye tests are done with a phoropter (instrument used to test individual lenses on each eye during an eye exam) before their finalisation in the trial frame to make sure you get comfortable vision at all distances.

Choosing the right frame is not just necessary to look good, but more importantly to see well and have no discomfort when wearing spectacles.

Everything that is done in the test room can fall flat if the incorrect frame choice is made!

What to look out for if you choose a frame and what the fit must be like

  1. Comfort and not too heavy on your ears or nose

  2. Size of the frame vs the size of your face= you must have it in alignment of your face

  3. Size of the frame vs the prescription , if the frame is too big the lenses tend to be thickener and we all know we don't want coke bottle lenses.

  4. Fitting on your nose, it needs to touch your nose and it must fit properly and comfortable

  5. Fitting behind your ears, the arms must be long enough to have a curl around your ears so that the frame doesn't fall off your face. Too short , you cannot get a good fit around the ears, too long it's probably going to stick out underneath your ears.

  6. Height over eyes. It must not fit over your eyebrows, it must have a sweet spot between your eyes and your eyebrows.

  7. Depth on cheeks. If you smile you don't want you frame to move, so test it on your cheeks if its touching without smiling its most probably going to lift up if you smile

Optometric information in choosing a frame and fitting a frame

  1. Your pupils must be in the middle of the lens if the frame is on your face, if its too nasal you will see more distortions on the edges, if its to temporal your field of view will be narrowed.

  2. Nose pieces must fit properly and must be adjustable if necessary

  3. Arms must be long enough to be adjusted around the ear to not slip down

  4. Pantoscopic tilt must be achievable to bring the bottom of the spectacles closer to your field of vision

  5. Height of the pupil to edge of frame should be deep enough to have as much of the prescription to your advantage as possible

  6. The prescription must work in the frame choice. If you choose a large frame with a high prescription not only is it going to be heavier but also you will notice the thickness more.

There is a lot of things to consider when you choose a frame. Fashion and looks is probably the last thing you must think about, but it is important to feel good in your frame.