Frequently Asked Questions

HOW TO SELECT FRAMES

There are two basic components to eyeglasses and sunglasses, the frame and the lens. To purchase glasses online at www.Main.com you need only shop and select a frame, add a prescription lens and then check out. We supply information for each step so you will have the guidance you need to select the frames and eyeglass lenses for you. Every order is reviewed by a Licensed Optician to ensure the proper lens choice. If you have questions, we are available to answer questions from our main page by clicking: Ask Our Certified Optician.

The first step in buying eyewear is to choose the style that appeals to you. What material (plastic or metal) do you prefer? What design (full frame, half frame, or rimless frame) best fits your face? What shape do you prefer (oval, rectangular, round, cat eye, aviator)? What colors complement your skin tone? If you have no idea what you are looking for, ask a friend or use or EMAIL A FRIEND feature to solicit input from family and friends.

For many of us, the most important aspect of choosing eyeglass frames is how they look on our face. To narrow your search you simply need to determine your face shape and color and understand which eyeglass frame styles and colors would look best on you.

EYEGLASS FRAMES AND FACE SHAPES

  1. Eyewear should repeat your personal best feature (such as a blue frame to match blue eyes).
  2. The frame shape should contrast with the face shape.
  3. The frame size should be in scale with the face size.

While most faces are a combination of shapes and angles, there are seven basic face shapes: round, oval, oblong, base-down triangle, base-up triangle, diamond and square. Here is a further description of these face shapes and which types of frames work for each shape.

Round face

Round

A round face has curvilinear lines with the width and length in the same proportions and no angles. To make the face appear thinner and longer, try angular narrow eyeglass frames to lengthen the face, a clear bridge that widens the eyes and frames that are wider than they are deep, such as a rectangular shape.

Oval

Oval

The oval face is considered to be the ideal shape because of its balanced proportions. To keep the oval's natural balance, look for eyeglass frames that are as wide as (or wider than) the broadest part of the face, or walnut-shaped frames that are not too deep or too narrow.

Oblong

Oblong

The oblong face is longer than it is wide and has a long straight cheek line and sometimes a longish nose. To make the face appear shorter and more balanced, try frames that have a top-to-bottom depth, decorative or contrasting temples that add width to the face or a low bridge to shorten the nose.

Base-Down Triangle

Base-Down Triangle

The triangular face has a narrow forehead that widens at the cheek and chin areas. To add width and emphasize the narrow upper third of the face, try frames that are heavily accented with color and detailing on the top half or cat-eye shapes.

Base-Up Triangle

Base-Up Triangle

This face has a very wide top third and small bottom third. To minimize the width of the top of the face, try frames that are wider at the bottom, very light colors and materials, and rimless frame styles (which have a light, airy effect because the lenses are simply held in place to the temples by a few screws).

Diamond

Diamond

Diamond-shaped faces are narrow at the eye line and jaw line, and cheekbones are often high and dramatic. This is the rarest face shape. To highlight the eyes and bring out the cheekbones, try frames that have detailing or distinctive brow lines, or try rimless frames or oval and cat-eye shapes.

Square

Square

A square face has a strong jaw line and a broad forehead, plus the width and length are in the same proportions. To make the square face look longer and soften the angles, try narrow frame styles, frames that have more width than depth and narrow ovals.

COLOR ANALYSIS

The keys to color analysis are that …
All people have either a cool (blue-based) or warm (yellow-based) coloring

  • Everyone looks best in his or her own color base.
  • Eyewear color should complement personal coloring. The main factors to determine the best color palette are the colors of the skin, eyes and hair.

Skin

Color Analysis

Skin tone is the prime element in determining coloring. All complexions fall into one of two color bases — blue (cool) or yellow (warm). A cool complexion has blue or pink undertones, and a warm complexion has a "peaches and cream" or yellow cast. Olive skin is considered cool because it is a mixture of blue and yellow. (In the United States, cool, blue-based complexions are more common than the yellow-based warm complexions. About 60 percent of the population are "cools.")

Eyes

Eye colors are usually a secondary element in determining coloring because of the wide range of eye colors. For example, blue eyes can range from a cool almost-violet to a pale blue-gray, which is warm. Brown eyes can vary from a light cider shade (warm) through a medium-brown to a cool almost-black.

Hair

Hair colors are also considered warm or cool. Strawberry blond, platinum, blue-black, white, salt-and-pepper and "dishwater" brown are cool. Warm hair colors include golden blond, flat black, brown-gold, "carrot" and "dirty" gray.

FRAME COLORS

Once you have determined if you are "warm" or "cool," then you can find the eyeglass frame colors that will suit you the best. Some examples of frame colors best for warm coloring are: camel, khaki, gold, copper, peach, orange, coral, off-white, fire-engine red, warm blue and blond tortoise. For cool coloring, the best eyeglass frame hues are black, rose-brown, blue-gray, plum, magenta, pink, jade, blue and demi-amber (darker) tortoise

DETERMINING THE PROPER FIT

CHOOSING MY FRAME SIZE

  1. Use our reference picture to read the frame measurements found on the inside temple of your current eyeglasses. If you are happy with the size of your present eyewear, use that as a guide when choosing the frame size on our site. (If you can’t read the size, you can measure it with a ruler that measures millimeters)
  2. OR: use our virtual Tryon to see the true size of our frames on your face.

Please note: The following measurement ranges act as a guideline, however, not all frames will have the exact combination that you may be wearing now. Every person will fit several different sizes.

Lens Diameter Small: 42-48
Medium: 49-52
Large: 53-58
Bridge Width Small: 16-17
Medium: 18-19
Large: 20-22
Temple Length Small: 130-135
Medium: 136-140
Large: 141-150

 

Getting the right size glasses for you is a combination of choosing the right frame style and then fitting the glasses to your face. You can measure your current eyeglasses with a ruler and use them as a guide. Because lenses are custom made to fit the frames you pick and your particular prescription, no matter what size frame you choose, the lenses will be in the perfect place in front of your eyes. Most people choose frames that are approximately the same width as their head.

There are a number of ways to make sure your glasses will fit before ordering them from our site.

  • Check the measurements of an old pair of glasses that fit you. We show measurements for every frame in our catalog so that you can compare them for a close match.
  • Shop at a local brick and mortar retailer. If you find a frame that you like at a local retailer, just note the model number, size and color and we can sell you the EXACT frame for a fraction of the price.

HOW TO MAKE MINOR FRAME ADJUSTMENT

Usually your eyeglasses fit right out of the box without any adjustments. Compared to clothing and other accessories, eyeglasses are the easiest to customize and adapt to your body. Frames are designed to be adjusted and bent if necessary to accommodate any facial structure.

Before you begin adjusting your frames be sure you know what you want to accomplish. The two most common goals are (1) to position the optical center of the lens directly in front of your pupils, and (2) to make the glasses feel more comfortable on your face.

OPTICAL CENTER OF LENS

The goal of the eyeglass frames is to comfortably position the optical center of the lenses directly in front of the center of your eyes. When you provide us with your pupillary distance or PD, we know exactly where to position the center of the lenses in your new frames. Side to side movement of the frame on your face could move the optical center of the lenses away from in front of your eyes but this rarely happens. What can happen is that the glasses move up or down your nose, taking the optical center with them. When this happens, it may become harder for you to see through the lenses, so you know that you need to adjust the glasses (push them up on your nose, for example). Small adjustments to the nosepads or temples can help to reduce the up and down movement of the glasses.

To get the optical center of the lenses directly in front of your eyes, stand in front of a mirror and look straight ahead, with your head in a level position. Put on your glasses and position the center of the lenses directly in front of your eyes. Be sure to look straight ahead when you do this. This shows you the place on your nose that you want the frames on your face. Now you need to be adjusting your eyeglasses frame so that it will always sit in that place.

ADJUSTMENTS TO THE TEMPLE TIPS IF YOUR GLASSES ARE…

IF YOUR FRAME HAS A NOSEPAD

Adjust the nosepads so that they keep the frame in the right place. Widening the nosepads drops the glasses lower down on your nose. Bringing the nosepads closer together raises the glasses up on your nose. Nosepads are attached to nosepad arms, which are welded to the eyeglass frame. You should make only tiny adjustments to the nosepad arms. If you make large adjustments, or frequent adjustments, the arms will break or the weld to the glasses frame will break.

IF YOUR FRAME DOES NOT HAVE NOSEPADS

If your frame does not have nosepads, you only need to adjust the temple tips in order to accomplish your goal. On metal or plastic glasses, adjustments should be small and infrequent in order to avoid fatiguing the frame material. For plastic frames, it is important to warm up the plastic before you begin. You can do this by running the temple tip under hot water for no more than 20 seconds or by using a hand held blow dryer. When the plastic is warm, make a small adjustment in the temple and then run the temple under cold water to set the plastic in the new position. Be careful of not making the frame too hot or the plastic could buckle and blemish and the finish on the plastic could bubble and discolor.

BEST LENSES FOR MY FRAMES

Choosing the lens for your vision type and frame is something that you can do without the help of an optician. If you have questions after reading all this section please ASK OUR OPTICIAN from the link on the main page.

After you select a frame, the ADD A LENS option will direct you in a step-by-step lens selection process. At each selection, you can read and/or view a video about lenses and materials. You can choose the materials and options that are best suited for your lifestyle and vision.
Lenses are what often make up the bulk of the cost when buying glasses, especially on the thinner lenses. The new lens designs can appear more attractive even when stronger prescriptions are needed. Because these new types of lenses are thinner, the old days of thick, Coke bottle style glasses have virtually disappeared. Among the most popular types of lenses prescribed today are:

  • Aspheric lenses, which are not perfectly rounded on the surface, recently have been designed as a way to correct for small distortions in vision that can be associated with more traditional lenses. These types of designs also make lenses thinner and lighter.
  • High-index materials also are associated with thinner, lighter lenses, because of the more efficient way this special plastic refracts light to help you achieve focus. Because less plastic is needed with high-index materials, lens thickness is reduced.
  • Wavefront technology lenses are fabricated based on very precise measurements of the way light travels through your eye, which helps sharpen visual clarity.
  • Polycarbonate is a type of shatter-resistant plastic, considered a major advance over earlier plastics used in lens fabrication. Polycarbonate lenses also are lighter and thinner than basic plastic lenses, because they have a higher index. Because polycarbonate lenses are tough and scratch-resistant, they are highly recommended for children and active adults.
  • Photochromic lenses have chemical coatings or special internal changes allowing them to quickly darken in bright conditions, and quickly return to normal in ordinary indoor lighting or at night.
  • Polarized lenses diminish glare from flat, reflective surfaces (like water) and also reduce eye fatigue.
  • Anti-reflective coatings are among the most popular add-ons for lenses. They can dramatically improve the look and comfort of your glasses by minimizing reflected light that might otherwise appear on the lens, which also has the added benefit of reducing glare and thus easing eye fatigue.
  • Other lens coatings include scratch-resistant, ultraviolet treatment, and mirror coatings.

OVER 40?

Presbyopia is a special challenge for people 40 or older because the eye's natural lens and internal focusing muscles become less flexible with aging and no longer can accommodate vision at all distance ranges. Presbyopia typically is noticed when print begins to blur even if you never wore glasses before. This means that the usual type of eyeglass lenses you've likely been accustomed to wearing, known as single-vision lenses, no longer will work well for you. Multifocal and single-vision eyeglass lenses available for presbyopia correction include:

  • Bifocals: Traditional bifocals have only two ranges of vision — near and far — with a distance zone established in the upper portion of the lens, and the lower zone enabling near vision tasks such as reading located on the bottom half of the lens. The zones are separated by a noticeable line.
  • Trifocals: These lenses have three different zones for seeing at varying distances — near, intermediate, and far — and can be custom made for you to accommodate your lifestyle or occupation.
  • Progressive lenses: These lenses have many advantages over bifocals and trifocals because they allow the wearer to focus at many different distances, not just two or three. Because they have no lines, progressive lenses allow a smooth, comfortable transition from one distance to another. They are a much better option for active, multitasking people.
  • Reading glasses: Reading glasses can be obtained with or without a prescription. Basically, they provide single-vision lenses that sharpen near vision for people with presbyopia and/or hyperopia.

Why thin lenses?

As your prescription increases, the lenses need to be thicker. If you use standard optical plastic, then they can become unattractive and the weight of them can become uncomfortable.

Lens coatings can enhance the performance and appearance of eyeglass lenses. If you're considering lens coatings in your next pair of eyeglasses, here's what you should know:

SCRATCH-RESISTANT COATINGS

This hard, clear coating significantly reduces the potential effects of day to day wear on your lenses, meaning you’ll enjoy that just-bought clarity for longer.

No eyeglass lens material — not even glass — is scratch-proof. However, a lens that is treated front and back with a clear, hard coating does become more resistant to scratching whether it's from dropping your glasses on the floor or occasionally cleaning them with a paper towel. Kids' lenses, especially, benefit from a scratch-resistant hard coat.

Since a scratch-resistant coating can't completely protect your lenses from wear and tear, keep your glasses in a cushioned case and clean them with a microfiber cloth and the cleaning solution your optician recommends. Also, be wary of those products that promise to repair your scratched lenses. They may fill in the cracks of the scratches but it is nearly impossible for them to make the scratches disappear so the lenses look new again.

ULTRAVIOLET TREATMENT

Another lens treatment that is beneficial but invisible to the naked eye is ultraviolet (UV) protection. Just as we use sunscreen to keep the sun's UV rays from harming our skin, UV treatment in eyeglass lenses blocks those same rays from damaging our eyes. Overexposure to ultraviolet light is thought to be a cause of cataracts, retinal damage and other eye problems. An ultraviolet treatment is simple and quick to apply to most plastic eyeglass lenses, and it does not change the appearance of the lenses at all. The exception is polycarbonate lenses, which don't need anti-UV treatment because it is an inherent property of the material.

This coating prevents UV rays from penetrating the lens thereby protecting the eye. Always add a UV coating when ordering a lens tint. Since it is invisible, UV light can be potentially damaging to the eyes—it’s the same light that gives you sun burn.

ANTI-REFLECTIVE COATINGS

This coating lets more light pass through your lenses, giving you a clearer image while reducing any strain on your eyes. It also lets others see your eyes more clearly. Particularly useful for driving or working on a computer. To improve both the vision through the lenses and the appearance of the glasses, an anti-reflective coating (also called AR coating) is applied. AR coatings are similar to the coatings found on microscopes and camera lenses. They consist of several layers of metal oxides applied to the front and back lens surfaces. Because of the layering effect, AR coatings sometimes have a hint of green or purple color, depending on the individual manufacturer's formula.

Anti-reflective coating reduces the glare that you see, as well as the glare that others can see on your lenses. An anti-scratch coating can lengthen the life of your lenses, while hydrophobic coatings keep rain, snow and fog at bay.

Each layer is scientifically calculated to block reflected light. The result is that you'll see a reduction in glare, annoying reflections and halos around lights. This is a great safety benefit when you're driving at night. Also, anti-reflective coating reduces both internal and external reflections on the lenses themselves, creating a nicer cosmetic appearance. Internal reflections appear as rings that make lenses look thick. External reflections mask your eyes from a clear, complete view when someone is looking at you. So with an anti-reflective coating, eyeglass lenses appear thin or non-existent, and your eyes look more natural.

Anyone on TV or whose photo is taken often benefits tremendously from the coating, but really, all eyeglass wearers would benefit from an anti-reflective coating from a cosmetic point of view. If you have a strong prescription, you can use the AR coating in conjunction with high-index lenses to make your glasses look and feel as thin as possible.

With sunglass lenses, an AR coating is better applied only to the back surface of the lens (the surface nearest the eye). Because sunglass lenses are so dark, the AR coating can wind up looking smeary on the front surface. Coating the back side helps reduce the reflections of light that enter from behind you and bounce off the surface into your eyes. A back-side coated sun lens is much more comfortable than an uncoated sunglass.

MIRROR COATINGS

In contrast to anti-reflective coatings, which are very clear, mirror coatings (also called flash coatings) are bold statements of color. Just as the name implies, a mirror coating is highly reflective. The mirrored sunglasses associated with state troopers are one example of a flash coating. The technology has advanced, however, so that today's choices include colors of the rainbow as well as silver, gold and copper metallic mirror coatings. Hot pink, blue — almost any color is available.

Mirror coatings are purely cosmetic: the wearer perceives no difference in vision regardless of what color the coating is. Only those looking at the person wearing the glasses can see the color of the mirror coating. Mirror coatings are generally applied over sunglass-dark lenses. Obviously, a highly reflective flash coating prevents others from seeing the eyes of the wearer.