Working, using a computer, reading, doing sports... As the years go by and the visual impairment deepens, the number of activities that "require" us to use glasses increases - and the more often we reach for them, the greater the risk of damage or destruction. What time should I change my glasses and how should I choose them? The experts of the National Chamber of Craft Optics are responsible.
Safety above all!
The choice of glasses can be compared to the arrangement of puzzles. If we want to enjoy a clear picture, we need to properly fit all the elements together and devote enough time and commitment to the whole process. Therefore, the choice should be preceded by a visit to a specialist who, thanks to the patient's interview, will give precise advice and suggest a beneficial solution. The help of a qualified person will allow us to adjust our glasses in such a way that we will almost forget that we are wearing them at all during our everyday activities. The wrong choice will only provide temporary and apparent relief, and prolonged use of the wrong glasses can lead to unintended negative consequences - headache and eye pain, tearing, driving difficulties and even chronic conjunctivitis.
Many times during conversations with patients I find out that they used "ready" glasses, which can be bought in supermarkets and even grocery stores. For many of them it was an understandable practice, because glasses available in such places are definitely cheaper. Then, I explain to patients that irresponsible choice can quickly lead to long-term treatment and even irreversible damage to their eyesight. Let us remember that glasses are a kind of prescription medicine that we should use rationally. Therefore, their purchase must be preceded by a visit to a specialist and a professional examination. Then we can be sure that we will achieve the desired effect - improved vision, comfort and convenience while performing our daily duties - comments Tomasz Leszczyński, optician, optometrist and expert of the National Chamber of Craft Optics.
A good optician. So what?
How do I choose the right optician? What qualities should it have to have in order for us to be able to consider that we have come across an expert who will certainly help to correct our vision well through a proper selection process of glasses? We should pay attention to the following:
- The conversation with the patient is the first and basic factor to answer the question about the competence of an optician. An interview with a client is not only a short, courtesylike conversation, which, after the exchange of courtesies, quickly switches over to glasses. The task of the specialist is to get to know the habits, lifestyle and nature of the patient's work, as well as situations in which he needs glasses. It is also very important to ask about previous experiences with used glasses. This allows the specialist to personalize the presented solution more effectively. The individual approach to each patient's needs and the quality and manner of questions asked will determine whether we have come across an expert or just a spectacles retailer.
- Professional selection of frames - for many of us this process is limited to the choice of colour and shape of frames. These can of course be selected according to the patient's expectations, but the main task of the expert is to direct our choice to frames that will allow you to fully enjoy excellent vision without negative consequences. Which elements should the optician pay special attention to? What advice should we consider carefully when making a purchase? It is extremely important to specify the inclination of the luminaire in relation to the cheeks, the panorama of the luminaires and the position of the pupils in relation to the upper edges of the luminaires. It should also be checked to ensure that the frame does not overpressure the temples or stand out from them. The glasses must also not lie crooked on the nose or pinch the ears. Only by taking these elements into account and taking into account all the asymmetries of our head, we can choose the right - comfortable frames. An equally important element is the balance of the size of the frame due to the type of lenses mounted in them, as this affects the aesthetics of the spectacles.
- The final test of glasses - the final stage of professional selection of glasses is to test their functionality in conditions close to real life. For this purpose, the spectacles should be tested in so-called everyday situations (seeing from a distance, reading subtitles, speed of response to stimuli, determination of natural distances and heights). The above activities should be carried out in the presence of a specialist (e.g. in or around the living room), who will quickly make the necessary changes in case of possible imperfections. Only then can we be sure that we have made the right choice.
How often do I change my glasses?
The above question has as many answers as people use corrective glasses. Although there is no single, universal key, the decision to replace glasses should be based on three basic factors.
- The "wear" of glasses - depending on the job, the scope of everyday duties, habits or passions, our glasses have many stimuli. Micro-damage, dirt, scratches and deformations appear on the spectacles lenses and frames, which prevent comfortable and appropriate use of the spectacles. Then, a visit to a professional optician is necessary. Unfortunately, many people decide to replace their glasses only when they are completely destroyed. In addition, a specialist will advise us on how to take care of the glasses during the day.
Even if our glasses, and especially the spectacle lenses, do not wear visible signs of wear or damage, we should still systematically replace even the lenses in our glasses - adds Grzegorz Romanik, optician and expert of the National Chamber of Optics. - Every glasses user wipes "glasses" in them at least once a day. For two years we've been cleaning glasses about 700 times. In addition, there are situations when we are not able to use dedicated wipes and liquids for this purpose, so we do it by other means, which has a destructive effect on the condition of lenses. A good illustration of the problem is washing the car. The paint of a car cleaned only once a week after two years will certainly not be as impressive as a brand new one. It should also be remembered that every material "ages". In the case of ophthalmic lenses, this is manifested by delicate yellowing, which lowers the comfort of looking, while photochromic lenses react more slowly to a change in lighting over time and have an increasingly visible preliminary tint in a state of complete discoloration - adds Grzegorz Romanik.
- Variable visual impairment - after several years of use, especially among young people, there is a change in visual impairment which should determine the purchase of new glasses. Too weak or too strong contact lenses will not properly correct our vision and can cause health complications (e.g. headaches). Only properly chosen glasses will provide comfort, so it is worth checking your eyesight regularly with a specialist.
- Current fashion - don't forget about fashion and trends when choosing glasses. More and more types of spectacle lenses and frames are appearing on the market and patients can precisely define their expectations concerning the shape, colour and even the material from which they are made (plastic and metal frames are among the most popular ones, but more and more often we can find those made of anti-allergic or biodegradable elements). For those who like technological novelties, an interesting proposal will be spectacle frames made using 3D printing technology. Although the replacement of glasses should not be based solely on aesthetic considerations, it is worth making sure that you feel comfortable in them. However, let us remember that if the glasses are to correct our eyesight, we cannot treat them only as a gadget. They will become part of our everyday life, so style must go hand in hand with comfort. Wearing beautiful - but very uncomfortable glasses will quickly become a nuisance to us. Therefore, to avoid such situations, it is worth taking into account professional advice. In addition, if we can afford it, it's worth getting a few pairs of glasses to suit different occasions.
To sum up, due to all the above aspects, it is recommended to replace at least once every two years at least. The use of "glasses" and the change of correction are indisputable arguments, but given the very fast changing trends, we usually decide to replace whole glasses - adds Grzegorz Romanik.