Eye Glasses, help me see but look good!
November 28, 2010 8:56 AM   Subscribe

Eye Glasses filter: Please recommend the best eye glasses that make you forget you are even wearing them.

I like to wear eye glasses, have pretty bad vision without them (very near sighted), but I see much better in contact lenses. When my contacts bother me I need to wear glasses to work. So, the issue is that I see soooooo much better in contact lenses. I realize its pretty obvious why, but I would like to find an excellent pair of eye glasses, that despite not being contacts, enable me to see almost as well, look good, stay on my face, and provide adequate peripheral vision. I'm female.

Your suggestions would be much appreciated - what works for you and what is stylish (price is not an issue).
posted by dmbfan93 to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (15 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
What is your prescription?
posted by hal_c_on at 9:34 AM on November 28, 2010

1- Investigate different contact lens brands and fittings. If your eyeball size is between two stock contact lens sizes, the doctor basically flips a coin as to the right size. Maybe you prefer the other.

2- The closer the lens is to the eye, the better the vision will be. (That's why contact lenses are so awesome.) So you need to choose a frame that gets the lens right in there.

3- Work with your doctor on the right lens shape and material. The different materials aren't just different based on how thick they are for a certain prescription. Often, the thinner materials result in worse vision. At least as perceived by the wearer. Most people adjust, some don't. Another option is the base curve- how curvy or flat the outside of the lens is (in nearsighted people). I have a set of glasses that has a compound base curve- the center of the lens is curvier than the edges. Like a really flat cone with a circular top. This allows the edges of the lens to be less thick, while the center of the lens has the right correction. These are great, light glasses, but I have almost no useful peripheral vision.

Get your eye doctor to work with you- give him the specific complaints about your current glasses, and what visual issues you'd like to correct. There are almost always trade-offs, and a lot of optometrists will make those trade offs based on their professional opinion, or worse, profit margin.

(A relative's eye doctor claims that she can make the right trade offs based on that person's personality type. She must be doing something "right" because that relative has three different pairs of glasses that they use depending on the situation.)
posted by gjc at 9:42 AM on November 28, 2010

You want Silhouette eyewear. Pricey but indestructible and lighter than anything else out there.
posted by slow graffiti at 9:50 AM on November 28, 2010

I prefer to have my glasses clear at the bottom, with a wire and no frame. I find that I'm not as aware of them. It might also in part be that you switch back and forth and so you don't get used to your glasses and they don't quite 'disappear' as much as they might.
posted by kch at 9:52 AM on November 28, 2010

I stay about from major store brands, which seem to have a wider tolerance on the "grind" of the lense. Your profile doesn't say where you live, but I have found a local optical shop that grinds their own lenses and have a very low tolerance on the accuracy of the grind. They can (I know someone that needed them) order Zeiss lenses for their frames.

Their frames are a different story. They make their own. Once a year, they have a big blow out sale that allows me to have several pair. I find, personally, that frames without nose pads are more comfortable for me. I have also found that wider temples and smooth, glossy plastic seem to be the most comfortable.

I wear progressives, but have found it helpful to have a pair of "computer glasses", a pair of just distance (movies) and two "everyday" pairs.

Good luck on your quest.
posted by 6:1 at 10:13 AM on November 28, 2010

Italee's twopointfive (2.5 gram) frames which I haven't used, but with an acquaintance raves about.

Also, seconding Slihouette. I've used these frames (actually the same ones, with different lenses) for about eight years. Very light. Also nearly indesctructable (my frames do not have hinges).
posted by zippy at 10:23 AM on November 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

+1 on the Silhouette suggestion. I had a pair (close to the Titan-X style shown online) and they were incredibly light, very comfortable and damn near indestructible. This with a 3.5 prescription for near-sightedness. With rimless 'frames' like this you can get all sorts of different lens shapes and sizes.

But have you considered the alternative of Lasik? I had both eyes done 4 years ago and have had terrific results. Even better vision than I had with contacts. The real motivator for getting it was losing a contact while piloting our boat home at night in heavy seas. Not fun.

Another upside is being able to spend on sunglasses what I used to have to spend on plain eyeglasses and contacts. Nice to have sportier options instead of prescription ones.
posted by wkearney99 at 11:18 AM on November 28, 2010

My last pair of glasses were Silhouettes, and I agree that you barely notice them on your face. Downsides are that you can't put them on with one hand (they don't have hinges, so you need both hands to hold them open), and that if your vision is bad like mine, they basically turn invisible when you're not wearing them, so you have to remember where you put them if you take them off.

As for how good you see, keep in mind that there are a variety of materials of varying optical qualities available. The ones that are both light-weight and of high optical quality tend to be expensive, though (and rimless glasses, and Silhouettes, in particular, are already that, even with standard lenses).
posted by andrewpendleton at 11:22 AM on November 28, 2010

I don't consciously notice my glasses when I wear them, which is.all day every day ar work. However I will occasionally adjust their position much like I move a bracelet or pull up a sleeve - I've never considered that bothersome though. Wearing standard 'osiris' and a standard 'red or dead' frame with single vision lenses.
posted by koahiatamadl at 12:39 PM on November 28, 2010

I have a pair of 2.5's and they are pretty insanely lightweight and I do tend to forget I'm wearing them. They are, however, not indestructible so be aware that they can be damaged fairly easily.
posted by otherwordlyglow at 1:23 PM on November 28, 2010

thanks all for your input so far. In response to Hal_C's question, my prescription is 4.0 (left) 4.25 (right).
posted by dmbfan93 at 1:47 PM on November 28, 2010

It might also in part be that you switch back and forth and so you don't get used to your glasses and they don't quite 'disappear' as much as they might.

That. I wore contacts for something like 7 years straight - I didn't even own a pair of glasses during that time. But when I suddenly found myself having trouble wearing contacts because of allergies, I switched backed to glasses and haaaated them. All I could focus on was the areas around the lenses where I couldn't see and the edges of the frames. I didn't even want to drive in my glasses because I swore I could see so much better in my contacts.

It's been a little over a year since I switched back to wearing glasses almost full time (contacts occasionally on weekends) and I find I don't notice my glasses at all anymore. In fact, I often forget I'm wearing them to the point where I'll reach up to rub my eye and poke the lens of my glasses instead.

Comfort and fit may be an issue, so make sure you go to a store and try on lots of pairs of glasses. When you find a pair that looks and feels good, makes sure you get them properly fitted and adjusted once they put your lenses in. Nothing is worse than glasses that don't fit right. Rimless glasses may be a good solution, but don't get your heart set on them just yet - my husband wasn't able to get rimless glasses because his prescription would require lenses that were too thick (it's -6, if I remember right).
posted by geeky at 2:13 PM on November 28, 2010

I am nthing rimless frames, however have had terrible luck getting them fabricated for my +8 diopter prescription, as the lenses are way too thick to attach the temple pieces through the drilled holes. As such, I have been wearing bottom rimless frames for many years now and been very happy. Note that bottom rimless frames are flimsy unless you buy a quality frame, which can be disconcerting.

I scoffed at the current fashion trend toward rectangular frames until I actually tried a pair, and am now convinced that a rectangular (or *ish) bottom rimless frame is the best compromise between invisibility and durability. Something about the corners in rectangular frames makes for the best peripheral vision.

I currently wear Oakley Jackknife 4.0s and LOVE THEM = highly recommended and by far the most rigid half-rim frames I have found.
posted by No Shmoobles at 3:02 PM on November 28, 2010

I've had my Silhouette frame for more than six years. It's incredibly light and while the colored laquer peeled off a couple of years ago, the frame is otherwise indestructible (as in, I've stepped on it in ski boots). I only wear my glasses when I'm too lazy to put in my contacts, so I'm pretty sure I wouldn't pay $600 for one again, but it might be worth it for you.
posted by halogen at 5:36 PM on November 28, 2010

Oh, I should add one thing. When I first got Silhouettes I noticed them more than regular glasses, because the mounting hardware on the outer sides of the lenses is visible in my peripheral vision. After a week or two I stopped being conscious of this change from regular lenses.
posted by zippy at 7:04 PM on November 28, 2010

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