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The Best Eyeglasses for Teens: Performance and Style

Choosing Eyeglasses for Teenagers The best eyeglasses for teenagers are the ones they will actually wear and that will survive their worst habits. There are several things that should be considered when choosing the right glasses for teens.

Vision correction needs
The first step to finding the right glasses is a complete eye exam from your eye doctor, which will determine your prescription. Certain types of lenses and frames work better with certain prescriptions than others, and some prescriptions don't work at all work with some types of glasses. For instance, very thin frames might not be suitable if you have a very strong prescription.

Know your style
Glasses, no matter how great they are, can't be effective if they're left in a drawer or your pocket most of the time. Wearing your glasses is important because clear vision can help you do well in school and can keep you safe from harm. For example, if you're driving, glasses are essential for avoiding obstacles and reading road signs. If you get pulled over without your glasses on, you could get a bigger ticket. So make sure you choose glasses that you actually like enough to wear every day.

There are several frame materials to consider, plus many frame shapes and colors. If you're not sure what would look best on you, try browsing frames at a local store. Optical shops generally have many racks with a wide variety of glasses, plus mirrors so you can see how you look in them. Trying on different pairs will help you figure out which will best suit your face shape, your coloring and your personal sense of style. When in doubt, you can ask the salesperson for help too!

If you can't get to a store in person, you could also try looking online. Some online eyeglass stores allow you to virtually try on different glasses by uploading a photograph of yourself. Obviously this isn't as good as trying on the real thing, but it can be a great alternative when that just isn't possible.

Frame choices: shape, color, material
There are several different types of materials available for frames including metal, polycarbonate and plastic. Metal frames are available in gold, bronze and silver and, occasionally, in other colors such as black, pink and red. Metal frames are typically thinner and less obtrusive than plastic frames. Plastics and polycarbonate come in nearly every color that you can dream up and can be molded in many different shapes. One of the hottest trends for teen frames is layered colors which blending to form a beautiful pattern.

Whatever the material, make sure that the color that you choose will be complementary to your skin and hair coloring and will look good with a variety of clothes, not just specific outfits. Always try on several pairs so that you can compare them with each other.

The style and shape of the frames that you choose should complement your own face shape. People with small faces should generally stick with smaller styles, so that their features are not overpowered by the frames, and so the glasses will fit correctly. In addition, your frame options may be limited by the type of lenses you choose. If you need thicker lenses, you will need more substantial frames to hold them.

Lens types and materials
There are a number of different lens types to consider as well. Glass lenses and plastic lenses can be created in many shapes and often have many different coatings for protection and to help them work better. Polycarbonate lenses are the great if you are active in sports, because they are impact resistant and less likely to break during rough play.

If you have a strong prescription that usually requires thick lenses, ask your eye doctor if aspheric or “high index” lenses are right for you. These special types of lenses are thinner and lighter than their standard counterparts, though they will cost a bit more and may not be available for your specific prescription or vision problems.

Tints and coatings for lenses
Tinted lenses can be a fun way of expressing yourself and are available in a rainbow of colors. But you should stick with light colors, since you will be wearing your glasses indoors as well as outside. Dark glasses may look cool in the mirror, but you'll pretty stupid tripping in the hallways when you can't see where you're going.

Photochromic lenses (sometimes called transitions lenses) are another great option for teenagers. These special lenses darken automatically in sunlight, keeping your eyes comfortable without the inconvenience of not having to switch glasses. Buying one pair of photochromic glasses is also more affordable than buying prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses separately. But keep in mind that photochromic glasses will NOT work inside a car, because the windshield blocks the UV rays needed to trigger the darkening reaction. So if you drive, you may need to have a regular pair of sunglasses as well.

In addition to materials and tints, there are several lens coatings you should consider. UV protection is a must have, because daily exposure to the sun's raise can greatly increase your risk of developing certain eye diseases. A scratch resistant coating is also highly recommended for most lenses, and essential for some, like polycarbonate, which are more prone to scratches. This coating will help protect your lenses from everyday wear (and the occasional neglect or abuse). Anti-reflective coating improves both your vision and your appearance, allowing you to see more clearly without distracting reflections or halos, and making it easier for others to see your eyes behind your glasses. There are also coatings that can be put on your glasses to help repel water spots, oils and smudges.

You may have to pay a little bit extra for some of these coating options, but consider it insurance on your investment. In other words, it's better to pay a few dollars more now and have your glasses last a lot longer than to have spend a lot more for new lenses later.

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