Tips for Buying Reading Glasses

Is buying new reading glasses for your child part of your back to school checklist? Glasses come in many shapes, sizes and prescriptions, and buying them can be a confusing process. Here are a few tips from our CHOC Kids Health resource that you can use while making your first purchase:

1. Lenses
• Thickness: The thickness of the lens depends heavily on the type of prescription your child has. If the prescription calls for thick lenses, it is important to keep the frames smaller in order to reduce the overall lens thickness. Smaller lens thickness also reduces the likelihood of distorted peripheral vision.
• Material: Children’s lenses should be made from Polycarbonate or Trivex (as opposed to glass), because they are the safest materials. In addition to being lightweight, they also offer protection against harmful ultraviolet rays.

2. Bridge Fit
• Ensuring that your child’s glasses have a proper bridge fit is crucial, because it will prevent the glasses from sliding down the nose. Your optician will be the best judge as to whether glasses have a proper bridge fit.

3. Frames
• The frames for children’s glasses are usually made  out of plastic or metal. Plastic frames tend to be lighter and more durable, but many manufacturers are making metal frames with similar advantages. Children under the age of two should wear plastic frames. For older children that might wear metal frames, make sure that they have spring hinges, because it makes them more durable.
• Be sure to ask your optician for a hypoallergenic frame material if your child has shown sensitivity to different substances or alloys.

4. Style
• This may be just as important as every other feature – make sure your child likes the style of the glasses! Since he or she has to wear them every day, it’s important that the child feels a level of confidence while wearing them.

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