Glasses are incredibly important for individuals with high prescriptions. Without vision correction, the world would be a blur, and completing simple everyday tasks would be difficult.
Unfortunately, the higher the individual’s prescription, the more power needs to be put into the corrective lenses and the thicker and heavier the lenses will be.
Luckily, there are many tips for picking the most optimal set of glasses that will provide the best comfort. Listed below are some key factors to consider when purchasing a new pair of glasses with a high refractive error.
High Myopia (Nearsightedness or Minus Prescriptions)
The first step is often to pick a set of frames that you will enjoy wearing. Of course, color and trend are important but for high prescriptions, there are other important components to keep in mind. First of all, for minus lenses, the higher the prescription, the thicker the lenses will be at the edges.
For this reason, it is important to pick a frame that has thick enough outer edges to hold the lenses in place and also to hide some of the thickness. Avoid rimless or semi-rimless frames.
Thicker temple arms on the frames can also help to hide the thickness of the lenses. Another thing to consider is that the larger the frame, the thicker the edges will be. So, it will be optimal to pick small frame sizes rather than large frames.
It is also important to make sure that the center of the frames are close to where the individual’s eyes are in the frames. Avoid frames where the eyes are sitting too close to the center of the frame and decentered towards the nose. The frames should sit close to the face to ensure optimal clarity.
The lenses for high minus prescriptions are also very important as the weight of the lenses will make a big difference, as well as any distortion in the lenses.
The thickness of the lens can be optimized by selecting a higher refractive index, which refers to the material that is used to make the lens. The higher the index, the thinner and lighter the lens will be.
It is also important to ensure that the lens has scratch-resistant, anti-reflective, and impact-resistant coatings. An aspheric design in the lens is also helpful as it decreases distortion when viewing outside of the optical center of the lens. Most high-quality lens manufacturers will automatically incorporate this into their higher prescription lenses.
A rarely used design for very high minus powers is referred to as lenticulation. This means that the prescription is put into the center of the lens in a circular disc (“the aperture”), with a thinner lens surrounding it (“the carrier”).
This decreases the weight of the lens and thins the outer edges of the lens. Keep in mind the aesthetic of the lens may not be preferred but comfort may increase immensely.
High Hypermetropia (Farsightedness or Plus Prescriptions)
Similar to high myopes, high hypermetropes (or plus prescriptions) will also need to be careful with their frame and lens selection. The higher the prescription, the thicker the lens, although the thickness will be at the center of the lens.
When picking a frame, it is also important to select a smaller frame and ensure that the eyes are not decentered too much from the centers of the lenses.