When it comes to helping patients select frames that will be appropriate for their individual features and lens needs, it must not be underestimated how important proper bridge fit is to the overall comfort and performance of the glasses you will be designing with your patient. I’ve often heard that nearly 80% of the overall fit of the glasses happens at the bridge (and I don’t have the proper source to cite here, but in my personal observations, I’d say this is an accurate statement). If you have a poor bridge fit, it shifts the additional work of keeping the glasses in place to the temples and temple adjustment. This often creates a sore ear scenario, and an unhappy patient.
Dear Fabulous Readers, This month’s column is about fine-tuning the frame selection process for face shapes. Ms. Specs was delighted to receive so many inquiries regarding this important topic. Thank you to all who wrote in!
Confession time: I can’t adjust my own glasses. That’s not to impugn my own abilities at fixing other people’s—I did just fine during many years of tinkering with temples and noodling nosepads. In all fairness, though, I never lived up to the Montgomery Scott-like abilities of my old colleague Dawn Gibbs at Texas State Optical in Magnolia, who could seemingly adjust a pair of frames that’d been run over by a semi and have them feeling even more comfortable than before the accident. When it comes to my own glasses, however, I’m rather like the master barber who can’t cut his own hair. They’re just too close, too personal, and I’m too finicky.
Ever hear the joke about the girl who walks into a bar? She orders a martini, notices a rather dapper gentleman wearing a pair of incredible glasses, and decides to ask him where he purchased them. I ordered them online.
Girl then proceeds to call her cousin: Can you measure my face? I’d like to order some glasses online.
Here’s the punchline: I’m the cousin. Funny,right? NOT!
I was dispensing a pair of glasses to a patient I hadn’t seen for the initial fit. As I leaned in to place the glasses on his face he said, “Now, don’t get scared.” In the split second between that statement and his next, I hesitated and wondered what was going to happen. It’s amazing what you can think of in a very short period of time! Would he bite? Have a seizure? Faint? It was a combination of relief and compassion when the patient told me he had a prosthetic nose. His nose had been removed due to cancer and replaced by a latex form. I had to look closely at his bridge to see the very fine line of the prosthesis.
Last year, I briefly profiled the glasses of US President Dwight Eisenhower, comparing and contrasting his frames, fashion, and sensibilities towards eyewear to LBJ, whose unexpectedly extensive frame collection I took a look at in the November issue of 20/20. I’m happy to say that, to my surprise, just a few days after the first article went to print, I received a phone call from Michael R. Florer, the curator at the Eisenhower National Historic Site in Gettysburg, PA.
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