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How are Glasses Supposed to Fit on My Face?

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A young man wearing glasses, with his arms crossed, standing against a blue background that matches his sweater

When they fit correctly, not only do glasses improve vision and feel comfortable, but they can also be a stylish or fashionable addition to your wardrobe. 

It’s best to have a comprehensive eye exam and update your prescription before purchasing a pair of glasses. During one of these examinations, your eye doctor takes more into account than simply the distance from which you can see clearly.

How Does an Eye Examination Help Find Frames

In addition to determining your refractive error for an accurate prescription, a comprehensive eye exam helps your eye doctor determine if any other conditions need correction. Plus, the eye exam increases the chances that any eye diseases get caught quickly so treatment can begin.

An optician will also measure your pupillary distance (PD). This is the distance between your pupils. Your PD has no direct effect on your prescription. However, it is the measurement that determines where you look through the lenses of your glasses and is important to prevent eye strain. 

A woman trying on different pairs of glasses at the optometrist

Things to Consider When Fitting Glasses

There are several different measurements to account for when trying on new glasses. However, this is one of the values of purchasing glasses when receiving your eye exam.

Your eye doctor or their staff can walk you through the glasses that will fit your face the best, so you can focus on how you want them to look. These are the measurements that you may hear when trying on new glasses: 

  • Lens (height): This is sometimes called the “B” measurement. Typically, the only time this is an important consideration is if you need progressive or bifocal lenses. In that case, you’ll need lenses around 25 millimetres (mm) or larger.
  • Lens (width): Just as it sounds, this is the total horizontal width of the lens. It’s important that your eyes are centred in the lens when trying on new glasses.
  • Bridge (width): This is the measurement for the part of your glasses that connects the lenses over your nose. It should sit on the nose’s bridge and not easily slide down. This measurement is crucial when purchasing plastic frames.
  • Temple (length): This measurement determines the length of arm your glasses need to sit comfortably on your face and not be uncomfortable behind your ear.

When you’re getting fitted for new glasses, whoever is assisting you takes all these measurements into account. They will ensure that you’re wearing glasses that fit comfortably and that your PD is correct to prevent eye strain due to the measurements being off.

Common Complaints About Ill-Fitting Glasses

Purchasing glasses without the correct measurements can lead to poor vision and discomfort. Here are some common complaints about glasses not fitting and how to fix them.

  • Discomfort Behind Your Ears: If you’re experiencing any discomfort behind your ears, like pinching or rubbing, the likely culprit is the temple length. However, if the temple length is correct, it could be the arms themselves. In some cases, an optician may be able to adjust them.
  • Discomfort From Nose Pads: If the nose pads are adjustable, they may simply need readjusting for comfort. However, if the nose pads are causing discomfort and can’t be adjusted, another solution is a different bridge width.
  • Slipping or Sitting Low on Your Face: Having these issues is likely a result of one or several of the measurements being off. Preventing your glasses from sitting low or sliding is why it’s important to get fitted for glasses properly.
  • Crooked: If the measurements are correct for your glasses, there are two likely causes for them sitting crooked on your face.
    • First, there could be bent or broken components to the glasses. In some cases, the optician can adjust the frames to fit properly.
    • Other times, there is actually nothing wrong with your glasses. Our faces are not always the same on both sides. For example, one ear may be slightly lower than the other, and this could cause the glasses to appear and feel crooked.

Get New Glasses That Fit

If you’d like to get new glasses and it’s been a while since you’ve had an eye exam, call our office today, and we can book you in for a time that’s convenient for you. The eye doctor will ensure your eyes are healthy and arrange a fitting for the perfect new pair of glasses for you.

Written by Dr. Craig M

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