When I was 15, I got my first migraine episode. I remember the day like it was just a few seconds ago. I was in class and after second period I started seeing some weird slanted silver and gray stripes only with my right eye. Then I started feeling dizzy and nauseous and a few minutes later boom, I felt like my head was going to explode from a painful headache. I don’t know how I didn’t pass out inside the classroom. I can only imagine the look on my colorless face. They called my parents. Mom came to get me, and we went straight to the ER where I spent the afternoon passed out from the pain and the medicine they gave me.
After that first massive headache I got sporadic headaches that my doctors associated with PMS. When I went to college my migraines got a little more frequent but bearable in the sense that I controlled them with analgesics. I supposed the stress and lack of sleep of my college life caused them. After college the migraines stopped. I got a headache here and there but nothing unusual.
Flash forward to 2013, I started getting migraines almost monthly. But this year they got painfully worse. I started having migraines almost every week and the episodes lasted for 2 or 3 days in a row. There were more migraine days than migraine free days in my life. Of course I was worried, I couldn’t keep running on painkillers daily. This couldn’t be normal. But you know, life gets in the way and my eternally broke financial status, kept me away from doctors. I know, I know, there are no excuses when it comes to health, but such is life my friends.
Anyway, I finally decided to do something about it. Before going to the vampires (aka get blood tests for serious stuff), I went to check my eyesight. And lo and behold, I came out with reading glasses. I have 0.5 hypermetropia in each eye, which is when you can’t focus near objects. Some of the symptoms of hypermetropia are squinting, blurred vision, and headaches, which I have been getting specially during and after I read, be it physical books, eBooks or work on my laptop.
Some people might think that getting eyeglasses is simple. You just pick up the ones that fit and look good and voilá (what I did). But guess what, there’s more to picking up your eye glasses. Even though I tried a lot of frames at the store, once I came home and started using them, I started having trouble (they slipped, the temples were too long, I can only read with them with certain light or I can see my eye reflection on the lenses).
So of course, my inner geek had to search for answers online and discovered what I think are treasures of information that I want to share it with you. Who knows, maybe someday you’ll find it useful. So here it goes.
- First and foremost, know the shape of your face. This little piece of information will give you an advantage and save time when you get to the eyeglass shop by knowing which types of frames you should try and which to avoid. For that check these out:
How to Measure Your Face to Find the Perfect Sunglasses – This one is about sunglasses but it shows you perfectly how to measure your face.
Here’s another link that explains How to Find Sunglasses for Your Face, according to your measurements.
The Best Glasses for your Faceshape – Michelle Phan’s video is so clear and graphic. So useful.
- Once you find the perfect frames for your face shape and skin color, make sure they fit correctly. It’s not about fashion, it’s about how the frames fit your face so you have the correct eyesight, for your visual comfort.
Fitting glasses correctly – I can’t thank Blacksquareable enough for this video! Thank you! Glasses should be fitted properly, not only look good from the front of your face but from the side and from the top. Check the curve of the lens so it follows the curvature of your eye. Also the angle of the lens. The people where I got my glasses didn’t have a clue about this and didn’t tell me anything, so please check the video to see how important the fit is.
Adjusting a frame – Make sure the optician takes his/her time to adjust your frame so it fits you perfectly. If they don’t do it, ask for this service, and if they have no idea about it, leave and try look for an optician who does this.
When fitting your glasses it is also important to check if the lenses are made according to YOUR Pupilary Distance and Fitting Height, NO AVERAGES HERE. You also need to know how to measure your Nose Bridge properly.
Here’s more info on getting your glasses adjusted that is very useful.
Another important thing for glasses to fit properly is that you Know Your Frame Size. If there are clothes and shoes sizes, it makes sense that frames come in different sizes. I learned my lesson: Choosing a frame with the correct nose bridge and temple size is important, to avoid problems such as slipping, temples that are too long so that when you are lying down with your glasses on, your pillow pushes the eyeglasses away from your face or glasses that are too tight and simply don’t fit correctly. It is also important to know your frame size numbers in case you need to buy other frames in the future. You will know beforehand which frames to choose from.
Also check this Frame Fit Photo Gallery out. It gives you a clear visual explanation on how eyeglasses should fit according to Frame Width, Nose Bridge Size, Temple Length, Level, even your Eyelash Length.
- If you chose Anti Reflective (anti-glare) coating, make sure you get what you paid for. AR coating is an extra. You can chose to have it or not. AR coating improves both your vision through your lenses and the appearance of your eyeglasses, because it eliminates reflections of light from the front and back surface of eyeglass lenses. This comes helpful for example when you work with computers all day or when you drive at night, or for picture time so that the camera’s flash doesn’t show on your eyes.
I chose the AR coating because I will be using my eyeglasses mainly for working on my laptop and reading on my phone and other devices. When I first got my glasses, reading was uncomfortable because I could see my eyes, my eyelashes, my pupils, and whatever was happening behind me reflected on the inside of my lens. It was distracting to see my eyes blinking while trying to read. I found myself squinting more to get the reflection off my sight.
I took my eyeglasses to the shop (where btw I’m never going back, don’t care if it’s this town’s most famous and supposedly prestigious eyeglass center), told them my problem and they just took my glasses from me, and with no further explanation said to come back in an hour to make adjustments.
After the hour, as they handed my “fixed” glasses, I could clearly see the difference in the lenses. They now had a greenish iridescence on them. So I asked why they looked different and finally they said that they had charged me for AR coating but had put polycarbonate lenses without the coating. They never apologized for their screw up. I asked if I had a warranty and said that if I had any more troubles with the lenses I would return, to which the sour unfriendly woman at the counter replied that they fixed the problem and if I kept seeing the reflection that it was my problem not theirs. I know, customer service from hell.
Anyway, how can you know if your lenses have AR coating? Hold your glasses in front of you in an angle and the lenses should have a green, blue hue/iridesence on their surface. Put them on, watch your face from every angle in front of the mirror, and you should clearly see your eyes, no looking through a window glass effect on them. This video and this image should help on how to find out if you have AR coating.
- Know some Simple Quick Fixes for your Eyeglasses. If you already have eyeglasses that don’t quite fit and can’t find an optometrist that helps you to fit your glasses correctly, don’t worry, there some quick DIY things you can do to fix your eyeglass troubles:
How to Curve Temples of Acetate Frames – Easy peasy lemon squeezy. If your temples are too long and the curve doesn’t follow your natural ear curve: a blow dryer and your hands is all you need to bend them. Here’s another link on how to adjust your frames with a blow dryer. I did this and it was so easy and quick to do. If you don’t have a blow dryer, I also heard that putting the temples in a cup of hot water helps them become flexible.
If your temples are the correct size but your glasses still slip on your nose you can buy plastic add-ons, which you slide on your frames’ temples to avoid slipping. They’re not expensive (prices range from $3 to $10) and come in different shapes and colors: 1, 2, 3.
If your glasses are metal and your temples are too long, you can shorten them!
Nose Pad Arms for Plastic Frames – If your frames are made of plastic and the nose bridge is too wide and big, you can always ask the eyeglass shop to install nose pads on your plastic frames to avoid slipping. Here is another video on the different types of nose pads and how to change them.
Fix Broken Acetate Frames – If by any chance you’re trying to fix your glasses and oops, they break, don’t worry, you can fix them right at home.
These are some examples of the many quick fixes you can find on the web. You just have to look for it and you will find the solution to your eyeglass woes. Everything has a solution! 😉
- And last but not least, it is important that you Understand Your Prescription so you won’t be fooled and get what your eyes need. You can also check out this video on how to read your eyeglass prescription.
So there you have it friends. Hope this helps. I know this was a lot to read but hey, we’re talking about your eyes here. There are no spare parts for them. You can’t take your eyes and eye sight problems too lightly. Make sure you get the best care for them because they’re the only pair you have for the rest of your life. 😉
p.s. I’ve been using my reading glasses for 2 weeks now and I’ve been migraine free so far. I guess I was really forcing my poor eyes with all my reading. I’m happy to be migraine free and I hope I stay like this forever.