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Consumer Guide to Prescription Eyeglasses

Learn all about eyeglasses with this comprehensive collection of articles on eyeglass frames and lenses, all written by experts in the eye care industry.

From information about lens options and the latest frame styles to tips for buying children's glasses, we've got all your eyeglass needs covered.


Browse the list of articles below, or start by reading our Eyeglass Basics article.

10 Reasons To Avoid Cheap Glasses - New!

Common shortcomings of cheap eyeglasses and cheap sunglasses โ€” and why you shouldn't waste your money on them.

How To Clean Your Glasses

Most people don't do it correctly. Learn the best way to clean your glasses and whether it's possible to remove scratches from the lenses.

Makeup Tips for Girls with Glasses

Here are ideas to help your makeup work with your glasses, not against them, to showcase your best features.

Frame Personality Quiz for Men and Women

Sporty? Vintage? Glam? All business? Take this quick quiz to find out which eyewear style fits your personality best!

Dry Eye Infographic - Sponsored

Learn eight symptoms, causes and steps to managing dry eye.

Children's Eyeglasses: Like Yours, But More Fun

How to choose prescription eyeglasses your kids will actually want to wear. Also see the latest New Frames for Kids & Teens.

Eyeglass Frame Materials

Choose the right frame material for your prescription eyeglasses, whether you need it to be lightweight, flexible, strong, or hypoallergenic. Also read our FAQ about eyeglasses and our Eye Doctor Q&A on eyeglass frames.

Men's Eyeglasses: Where Fashion Meets Function

Men want comfort and durability without sacrificing style. Learn what to look for at the optical store, plus which men's frames are in style now.

Frame News

Rag & Bone Enters The Eyewear Arena With A New Collection

Kate Bosworth wears new eyeglass frame by Rag & Bone
See styles.

Winter 2018 โ€” Rag & Bone is known for its modern apparel designs with New York attitude and a touch of British heritage.

Now the brand has launched an eyewear collection for men and women, with 17 sunglass styles and 14 frames. The design themes are British, Americana, Military and Sport, and throughout the collection you'll see the distinctive Rag & Bone motif of five daggers used in the frame hinges, endpieces, temples and more.

The eyewear features a novel hinge system that the company says makes it easy for opticians to adjust, for a customized fit.

Pictured here is Kate Bosworth wearing one of the larger designs for women. She and her husband Michael Polish are the faces of the launch and photographed each other wearing both the frames and the sunglasses in real-life settings.

Please click here for more photos of Rag & Bone frames. โ€” L.S.

More eyeglass frame news >

Size of Prescription Eyeglasses: How Frame Sizes Work

It's not as simple as small, medium, and large, so here's an explanation of sizes of prescription eyeglasses.

Solving Problems With New Eyeglasses

Learn what to do if you're unhappy with your eyewear after the purchase.


Specialty Eyeglasses: For All Seasons, for All Reasons

Specialty eyewear includes eyeglasses and sunglasses that are designed for a specific purpose, such as computer use, driving, work, hobbies, protecting your eyes and more. Can you benefit from special eyeglasses? Read this article to help you decide. Also read our Eye Doctor Q&A on eye safety, plus how to choose safety glasses and safety goggles.

Unisex Eyeglasses

Learn about fashionable eyeglass styles that are designed for both men and women.

What's New in Prescription Eyeglass Frames

See the newest trends in adult eyeglasses from frame manufacturers around the world.

Women's Eyeglasses: Getting a Look You Love!

Find out which eyeglasses are in style, plus how to get great-looking, comfortable frames that are unique to you.

Adjustable Focus Eyeglasses

Adlens and Eyejusters adjustable focus glasses offer a larger field of view for reading and computer work than bifocals and progressive lenses. Are they the future of multifocal lenses?

Anti-Reflective Coating

Learn how anti-reflective (AR) coating makes your eyeglass lenses nearly invisible and eliminates lens reflections that cause glare.

Aspheric Lenses

Aspherics are ideal for strong prescriptions because they are flatter and thinner. They also provide better vision than ordinary lenses and look better because they lessen farsighted eye magnification and nearsighted eye minification.

Bifocals and Multifocal Lenses

Bifocals and trifocals come in many sizes and configurations. Here's what you need to know to choose the right bifocal or trifocal lenses for your needs, depending on whether you sit at a computer all day, work on automobiles, play golf, etc. Also read our Eye Doctor Q&A on bifocal lenses.

Eyeglass Lens Coatings

Anti-reflective coating, scratch resistant coating, anti-fog and UV lens treatments are options that enhance your vision and appearance, increase the durability of your eyeglasses and protect your eyes from the sun's harmful rays.

High-Definition Lenses

Learn how new high-definition eyeglass lenses (free-form and wavefront lenses) produce sharper vision than regular eyeglass lenses.

Eye Doctor Q&A on Eyeglasses

Reader questions about frames and lenses answered by experts.

My LASIK Journey Guide - Sponsored Section

This useful guide provides the answers to all of your questions about LASIK, whether you're just starting your research or want information about the procedure and follow-up care.

Occupational Bifocals and Trifocals

Special-purpose multifocal lenses can help people over age 40 perform certain tasks at home or at work more comfortably. Read about occupational bifocals and trifocals and how they work better than general purpose bifocals and progressive lenses for specific tasks.

Photochromic Lenses

Photochromic lenses are clear indoors and darken automatically in sunlight for greater comfort in different lighting conditions. Transitions Optical makes the most popular brand, which has led some people to call all photochromic lenses "transition lenses" or Transitions lenses. But there are other brands, too.

Polycarbonate and Trivex Lenses

Polycarbonate lenses and Trivex lenses are lighter and more impact-resistant than regular plastic lenses. They're great for safety glasses, sports eyeglasses and children's eyewear.

Progressive Addition Lenses

Progressive lenses can do everything a bifocal or trifocal can do, but without the lines. Here's how they work and why you should consider them if you have presbyopia.

Reading Glasses

By the time you reach age 40 and your eyesight is otherwise good, it's very likely you will need special reading glasses to help you see that fine print on the menu.

Trivex Lenses - New!

Extremely lightweight, durable and crack-resistant lenses that are a great choice for rimless frames and children's eyewear.

What's New in Eyeglass Lenses

See the latest technology in new prescription lens products.

About Eyeglasses

Choosing the right eyeglasses often depends on individual traits such as hair color, face size and even the type of vision correction you need.

If you have an unusually wide face, for example, you may need to shop around for extra-large eyeglass frames. On the other hand, smaller faces may require a petite frame size.

Unusually strong corrections also can make lenses look thick or distorted when eyeglass frames are oversized.

Choosing Eyeglasses That Fit Your Lifestyle

Besides complementing your looks, eyeglasses also need to suit your lifestyle.

Recycling Eyeglasses

Never discard your old eyeglasses!

Needy people can use your old eyewear, whether it's reading glasses, sunglasses or prescription eyeglasses.

About donating sunglasses >

For example, a rough-and-tumble teenager who engages in all manner of outdoor activities will have far different needs for eyeglasses than an office worker who spends hours at a desk.

Active people also may need to consider extra eye protection such as sports or safety goggles. For those who love fashion, designer eyeglasses with embellishments such as crystals and logos are a fun option.

If you have reached your 40s, you will need to consider different eyeglass options for correcting near vision problems caused by presbyopia such as:

  • Progressive lenses
  • Bifocals or trifocals
  • Occupational lenses
  • Reading glasses
  • Computer glasses

In some cases, you may need different pairs of eyeglasses depending on whether you are driving down the highway or sitting indoors in front of a computer screen.

Your eye doctor or optician can advise you about the right fit for you, as well as discuss coatings and tints that can help you see your best in different circumstances such as low lighting at dusk.

Read an expanded introduction to eyeglasses.

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Page updated January 30, 2018