Personal taste is an extension of personality, and eyewear choices follow that extension. Eyewear is usually the first thing people notice about someone, and it’s an instant clue to personality. Considering that our patients don’t know much about lens designs, it’s no wonder they usually want to talk more about frames than lenses. Deciding on the right lens first is good practice and helps guide the frame selection process, but if your patient is glancing around at the frame boards while you’re explaining why a particular lens is a solution to their vision needs, you may be explaining in vain. Why not compromise? Give the patient an initial general recommendation for lenses based on their prescription and some lifestyle questions, then work with frames. Save the nitty-gritty of lens technology until they’ve found the perfect frame.
In addition to color, shape and style, comfort is important. Temples that are too short, for women as well as men, will result in a frame that fits too tight or slides down. Similarly, a poorly fitting bridge will have that patient back in your shop in no time. Steer patients away from frames that will require considerable adjustment to achieve a good fit. If you have to compensate for the way the frame fits before the glasses are made, you have the wrong frame.
Now for the lenses. How the lenses will be used will point you to a lens style. Power will determine lens material and design. The patient’s previous pair of glasses will give you great information about designing their new lenses. Ask if there was anything they didn’t like about them and what they expect from their new glasses. If the previous pair didn’t match expectations, find out why. Check the lens placement and material. Consider a digital aspheric design if the old lenses were corrected curve, or the prescription is a high power or cylinder. Remember that labs need vertex distance, pantoscopic tilt and wrap values when individualized lenses are ordered; don’t use default values. Be sure the patient understands the benefits of AR for clear, crisp vision, as well as the benefits and limitations of photochromic lenses if they are being considered. Lens and material demonstrations work wonders to enhance patients’ understanding.
Matching the right frame with the right lens will result in a happy, loyal patient and likely bring you referrals. Learn more about improving the frame and lens selection process with our CE, “5 Reasons to Add a Smart Mirror App to Enhance the Eyewear Selling Process” at 2020mag.com/ce.
• Linda Conlin
Pro to Pro Managing Editor