Lafont Kids eyeglasses added

Glasses for Intensive Computer Users

Are your eyes red and puffy from staring at a screen all day? Office workers and gamers often suffer from dry, fatigued eyes from looking at computer screens all day.

We get a lot of questions at FramesDirect.com from office workers who are suffering from tired, dry eyes. So we’re excited to introduce Gunnar Optiks, the first eyewear line specifically engineered to eliminate these symptoms for the intensive computer user.

Contact Lens Safety Tips

Seasonal Allergies? Try 1 Day Disposable Lenses

This summer, as patients who wear contact lenses begin to experience the effects of seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, CooperVision is reminding practitioners that switching patients to a daily modality can help them improve lens-wearing comfort. Wearing new lenses each day means that deposits such as allergens have less time to build up on the lens surface, minimizing allergic response.

“The two best options for contact lens wearers who experience allergic reactions and would like to continue wearing their contacts during those times are pharmacological therapy and the utilization of 1 day disposable lenses,” said Harvard Sylvan, OD, director, professional relations, CooperVision. “As lens dehydration and protein deposition can occur during the course of the day even with daily disposables, a material that resists both deposits and dehydration is preferable.”

One study found that 67 percent of allergy sufferers agreed that daily disposable lenses provided improved comfort when compared to the reusable spherical soft lenses they wore prior to the study[1]. Also citing better vision with daily disposables, the patients who participated in this three-year prospective study reported fewer allergic ocular symptoms than with conventional daily-wear soft lenses.

The daily modality also has the highest patient compliance rate at 94 percent[2]. In part, this is because daily disposable lenses are extremely convenient and easy for patients to use and handle, and require no end-of-day lens care regimen, expensive solutions, or overnight storage of worn lenses.

“With the rise of environmental antigens causing discomfort and intolerance, allergy season presents a great opportunity for practitioners to move patients to daily disposables,” said James Gardner, senior director of marketing, CooperVision. “Patients are very loyal to the daily modality due to its convenience, performance, comfort, and promotion of health, so they’re incentivized to return for the next annual supply on the anniversary of the initial dispense.”

CooperVision 1 Day Disposable Lenses
Proclear 1 Day 90 pack Contact LensesAs part of CooperVision’s PC Hydrogel family of lenses, Proclear 1 Day disposable contact lenses feature PC Technology, providing patients with the convenience of a daily disposable lens and comfort that lasts all day long. Additionally, Proclear 1 Day lenses are made with omafilcon A material, the only lens material with an FDA-cleared indication which may provide improved comfort for contact lens wearers who experience mild discomfort or symptoms relating to dryness during lens wear.

About CooperVision
CooperVision, a unit of The Cooper Companies, Inc. [NYSE: COO], is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of soft contact lenses. Dedicated to enhancing the contact lens experience for practitioners and patients, CooperVision specializes in lenses for astigmatism and presbyopia. CooperVision manufactures a full array of monthly, two-week, and daily disposable contact lenses featuring advanced materials and optics. For more information, visit http://www.coopervision.com.

[1] Source: “An Evaluation of 1-Day Disposable Contact Lens Wearers in a Population of Allergy Sufferers,” V. Hayes, C. Schnider, and J. Veys, Contact Lens & Anterior Eye, June 2003.

[2] Source: “Compliance and Contact Lenses,” Review of Cornea and Contact Lenses, March 2006.

New Eyeglasses & Frames Now Online

Choosing Eyeglass Frames: Things to Know


Choosing Eyeglasses Frames

Looking for that perfect set of eyeglasses frames but have questions about how to go about choosing them and what they should reasonably cost? Here are some tips to help you with your eyewear purchasing decisions.

Eyewear questions consumers most often are concerned about:

  1. Is there a trick behind a 50% off sale?
  2. Are add-ons like UV and scratch protection really worth it?
  3. Is Buy one, Get one FREE possible?
  4. How do I know I’m getting the right frame for my prescription?
  5. Why is there such a difference in price between optical stores?
  6. Is there a difference in eyeglass lenses?
  7. How do I know if I’m paying too much for my frame?


We’ll try and answer a few of these questions.

Is There a Trick Behind the 50% Off Sale?

Let’s use a common sense approach when evaluating this offer. It’s not very likely a business would offer a product for less than their purchase price of the product. So when optical companies run 50% off sales one of two things is happening. They want to get rid of outdated merchandise or the product mark up is inflated to begin with. How else could they afford to discount the product 50% and still make any profit?

Most 50% Off sales advertise discontinued frames. While this can save you money, be careful of being enticed to buy a product that is outdated. Replacing a broken temple piece or a broken discontinued frame can be difficult if not impossible.

Fifty percent off sales are also frequently on frames that have been marked up by 3 to 3 1/2 times their cost, and then reduced by 50 percent. So you end up paying almost regular retail on a frame that is advertised at 50% off.

Often on 50% off sales you will notice an offer that discounts the frame only if you purchase the premium lenses.

This is the catch! You WILL overpay for these lenses. They are often priced higher than regular lenses. So you think you’re getting a good deal because the frame is half-priced. Shop around for lens prices in your area. You’ll be better prepared when investigating the 50% off sale.

Be sure to read the fine print in the advertisements.

Stores that run 50% Off sales 365 days a year are simply marking up product to reduce it. This is very misleading. You might even notice that some optical stores have 50% Off as a permanent business practice.

There are less expensive and easier ways to save money and get real quality frames and lenses at a very affordable price.

Why Do Optical Shops Always Try to Sell Add-Ons?

This is an area of great profit for most optical companies, and is easy money.

Many opticals give generous commissions and sales incentives to sales staff based solely on the number of tints, scratch coatings, ultra-violet protection, edge polishing and service agreements sold.

For little cost to them, the optical business can substantially increase the price of an eyeglass sale using add-ons.

Add-ons can amount to over 30% of the cost of a pair of glasses, often giving the company excessive and outrageous profits.

Buy only the protective coatings that you need. Specialty lenses, like hi-index lenses and polycarbonate material automatically come with scratch protection and ultraviolet coatings from the manufacturer.

So you DON’T NEED TO PAY AN ADD-ON FEE to have these coatings added! They are already on the lenses!

Again, do not overpay. If your prescription requires hi-index or polycarbonate lenses, the lenses have ultraviolet and scratch protection coatings already impregnated in the lens.

Often, if pressed to make the sale, some optical companies will provide scratch protection, UV coating and edge polishing for half the price! Negotiate and insist on a discount.

The Truth Behind Buy On Get One Free

In this promotion, while the second pair is advertised as FREE, the free frame is not an identical one to the first frame of the purchase. The free frame is usually one selected from a special collection in the store. These cheap frames cost the optical store about $2 to $4 each.

You are overcharged full price for the first pair and told you get a second pair free.

The lenses used to fill the prescription in the free pair are often cheap, uncoated lenses. Is the optical giving away a free pair?

Not really!

The store makes money from this promotion by encouraging the consumer to purchase an add-on package of coatings. These coatings are scratch protection, ultraviolet coating and a tint. A total for all three options may cost you from $29 to $59.

So the optical will make anywhere from $23 to $53 on your FREE pair!

In reality, you are overpaying for your first pair and getting a poor quality frame for the second pair.

How to Recognize and Avoid Cheap Frames

The optical industry considers a cheap frame to be one that costs the optical store anywhere from $1 to $7. Yes, believe it or not, there are imported eyeglass frames that cost as little as $1 which some optical stores sell for $39 to $99!

In many optical stores these frames are often found:

– in the Spare Pair section
– with Buy One Get One FREE promotions
– combined with a Contact Lens promotion
– with certain Vision Insurance Plans
– often advertised, $79 Complete Pair of Glasses.

The frames are usually made in the Far East of low grade material. They will often tarnish easily. Cheap frames won’t stay in adjustment, the arm coatings will often chip, the screws will loosen and the frame will break easily.

Be very careful about spending your money on these frames.

Name brand or designer frames do not fall into this category. You can almost be assured that any well known designer name frame is made of superior quality material, will hold alignment longer and won’t tarnish easily.

Guidelines for Choosing the Right Frame Size for Your Prescription

There are usually two components to any eyewear prescription.

You are either nearsighted, which means you can see at near but not at a distance, or farsighted, which means the opposite.

About 70% of eyeglass wearers also have some form of astigmatism. This simply means that the front part of the eye, the cornea, has 2 different curvatures (like a football). So lenses are designed with two different curves to compensate for the shape of the eye to correct the astigmatism.

Here’s an example of an eyeglass prescription:

OD -3.00/-1.50 X 180
OS 2.50/-1.00 X 165

This is what it means.

OD is a latin abbreviation for the right eye.
OS is a latin abbreviation for the left eye.

The first number (-3.00 in the example) is called the sphere. This tells the optician what power to make the lens to correct the nearsightedness (-) or farsightedness ( ). In our example the right eye (OD) is nearsighted and the left eye (OS) is farsighted.

The numbers after the (/) refer to the amount of astigmatism. The (X) is an abbreviation for the word ‘axis’ and the numbers 180 and 165 indicate the placement in degrees of the astigmatic lens.

THE NUMBERS THAT CONCERN YOU WHEN DECIDING THE BEST SIZE FRAME FOR YOUR PRESCRIPTION ARE THE SPHERE NUMBERS (-3.00 and 2.50 in our example).

If your prescription is less than -2.50 or 2.50 almost any size and shape frame will be suitable for your prescription. You do not require hi-index or thin and light prescription lenses. Any frame with regular plastic lenses will have an acceptable edge thickness and should look cosmetically pleasing to you.

For prescriptions of -2.50 to -4.00 you should choose a frame with an eye size of 54 or less. The size is written on the inside arm of the frame. If you have to have a frame with a larger size because of style or face shape, then make sure you get hi-index or the thin and light lens. Otherwise, your lenses will have thick edges.

Do not choose a rimless frame if your prescription is over -2.50 unless you use a high index lens, or edge thickness of the lens will be a problem.

For prescriptions of -4.00 to -6.00 it is advisable to order your lenses in a hi-index material and to keep the frame size as small as possible. This will ensure that your glasses look the thinnest.

If you are unsure about which lenses are best suited for your prescription, or if you have a very difficult or high prescription call 1-800-248-9427 and ask for Lens Information and Assistance.

Trained personnel will help you understand your prescription and which lenses you should use. The service is FREE.

Understanding Single Vision Lens Materials

There are many single vision lens materials, but the most commonly used polymer is a plastic material known as CR-39. Because of its light weight, it is very comfortable and can be tinted almost any color and density.

However, certain manufacturers of CR-39 lenses produce a low quality and inferior product. Often, the lenses will be warped, causing soft spots of poor vision throughout the lenses.

Thin-plastic (hi-index) and light lenses are also available. The refractive index of this material is higher than regular plastic lenses. This means that a thinner lens can do the same job that a thicker lens would normally do. These lenses are about 35% thinner and lighter than regular plastic lenses.

Be aware, however, there are different grades and qualities of these lenses. The higher the refractive index, the thinner the lens.

Another material, called Polycarbonate, is often marketed as a thin and light lens. It is softer than CR-39, may scratch and can’t be tinted as dark as plastic lenses. It definitely is lighter and thinner than regular plastic. Many opticals promote this material over hi-index because it costs less, yet they often charge the same price as hi-index lenses.

Polycarbonate is extremely resistant to shattering, so it is recommended for children or persons needing safety eye protection. However, the newer hi-index lenses sometimes have superior optics compared to polycarbonate which occasionally has some peripheral distortion. If you are being sold a thinner and lighter lens, ask if it is polycarbonate or hi-index plastic.

REMINDER: POLYCARBONATE AND HI-INDEX PLASTIC LENSES AUTOMATICALLY COME WITH SCRATCH PROTECTION AND ULTRAVIOLET PROTECTION. IF YOU PURCHASE EITHER ONE OF THESE TWO MATERIALS DO NOT BE SOLD THESE COATINGS AS ‘ADD-ONS.’

Contact Lens FAQ

Contact Lenses: Spotlight on Focus Progressives

Focus Progressives Contact Lenses

You don’t have to see yourself in bifocals! Introducing Focus Progressives, the soft contact lens for bifocal wearers.

Almost everyone begins to lose the ability to focus up close after age 40. Your eye care professional will tell you it’s called presbyopia, and it results from a natural loss of elasticity in the lens of your eye. Like many things in life, it’s inevitable. But it’s not serious. No matter how good or bad your eyesight was before, the inability to focus on near objects can easily be corrected.

Focus Progressives: A soft,disposable contact lens . . . and a great looking alternative to bifocals!

Forget about those old bifocals. Now, slip into something a lot more comfortable, practical and youthful. With Focus Progressives contact lenses, you’ll see clearly and naturally – up close, far away and in-between. Focus Progressives allow you to continue your active lifestyle without the hassles of bifocals or reading glasses. And if you have never worn contacts, you’ll be amazed at how natural and comfortable they feel.

See clearly and naturally at all distances without bifocals or reading glasses.

Opticians Eyewear Tips & Tricks

Opticians Eyewear Tips & Tricks