Picking out eyeglasses isn’t just a matter of personal style. There’s science and art to finding the perfect pair. Here’s how an optician can help.

If your eye exam reveals that you need a vision prescription, then the next step is to find your perfect pair of eyeglasses. Your optician is ready to help you find the best frame fit for both your face and your specific prescription.


First, what is an optician, and what do they do?

Turns out, there are a lot of eye care professions that start with the letter “O.” There are optometrists (eye doctors who provide primary eye and vision care, perform eye exams, and prescribe corrective eyeglasses and contact lenses) and ophthalmologists (medical or osteopathic doctors who diagnose and treat eye diseases, perform eye surgery, and prescribe glasses and contacts).

And, finally, there are opticians: Professionals who are trained to fill the corrective lens prescriptions provided by your eye doctor.

These specialists typically have a degree, certificate or diploma, depending on the state. Some states require prospective opticians take an exam to obtain a license to practice, and Advanced Certification designations are awarded by the American Board of Opticianry after several years’ experience and completing more rigorous education and exam requirements.

Opticians also have the job training necessary to help you determine the best eyeglass frames for your facial features and face shape, as well the lens requirements of your prescription. Your optician will adjust your frames to make them fit better, and will educate you about taking care of your eyewear.


How will my optician help me pick out glasses?

Your optician will consider a number of factors when it comes to selecting your perfect pair.

Your prescription

How strong your particular prescription is will have an affect on frame selection. Why does it matter? Because your prescription impacts lens thickness and shape.

For example, someone with a strong prescription for nearsightedness (someone who can see well up close, but needs corrective lenses to sharpen their distance vision) will have lenses that are thin at the midpoint and thicker at the outer edges. Chunky frames can sometimes produce that “Coke bottle” look, exposing an edge of thick lens from the sides of the frames.

Your optician will give you all the ins and outs of various lens materials and coatings, helping you find the balance between performance and cost.

Your face shape and features

We’ve all had that experience where we see a great-looking pair of frames on the shelf transformed into bug eyes when we try them on.

Eyeglass selection starts with the seven primary face shapes (oval, round, heart, oblong, diamond, square, and base-down triangle). Your optician will be able to tell at a glance which shape your face is, and can help you narrow down frames from there.

He or she will also help you identify the right frame width based on your face width, and dial in other aspects of eyeglasses fit based on your nose bridge, ear placement, cheekbones, and so on.

Fine-tuning fit

Once your prescription eyeglasses are complete, you’ll go back to the optician for a final fit. He or she will confirm that your frames fit your face without falling down or feeling too tight above the ears. They’ll also make sure the center of the lens aligns with the center of the pupil (what’s called your pupillary distance).

After any final adjustments, you’ll be ready to hit the streets in specs that look and feel great!


Don’t forget your annual eye exam! We’re open and ready to take care of your eyes, including updating your prescription and helping you find that perfect pair of eyeglasses. Call us for an appointment today.

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