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Spectacle lens options

Anti-Reflective Coating
Anti-reflective coating (also called AR coating or anti-glare coating) improves both your vision through your lenses and the appearance of your glasses. 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. 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, reflections are eliminated and eyeglass lenses look thinner or non-existent, and your eyes are more visible so you can make better eye contact with others. Anti-reflective coating benefits virtually everyone who wears eyeglasses. Also, research shows wearing AR coated lenses improves night driving vision and increases comfort during prolonged computer use (compared with wearing uncoated lenses). AR coating is especially beneficial if you choose high-index lenses. These thinner, lighter lenses reflect more light than regular plastic lenses unless anti-reflective coating is applied. Anti-reflective coating is also beneficial when applied to the back surface of lenses in sunglasses, because it eliminates reflections of sunlight into your eyes from the lenses when the sun is behind you. (Since the purpose of sunglasses is to reduce how much light enters your eyes and because you aren't concerned about making eye contact with others when wearing shades, there is no benefit to having AR coating applied to the front surface of sunglass lenses.) Most premium anti-reflective coatings include a "hydrophobic" surface layer that prevents water spots from forming and makes the lenses easier to clean. Some AR coatings also include an "oleophobic" surface layer that repels skin oils and makes it easier to remove smudges from the lenses. When cleaning AR-coated lenses, use only products that your optician recommends. Lens cleaners with harsh chemicals may damage the anti-reflective coating. Also, don't ever attempt to clean AR-coated lenses without wetting them first. Using a dry cloth on a dry lens can cause lens scratches. And because anti-reflective coating eliminates light reflections that can mask lens surface defects, fine scratches will be more visible on AR-coated lenses than on uncoated lenses.

Scratch-Resistant Coating
No eyeglass lenses not even glass lenses are scratch-proof. However, lenses that are treated front and back with a clear, scratch-resistant coating have a much harder surface that is 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. Today, most eyeglass lenses, including high-index lenses and lenses made of polycarbonate and traditional plastic materials, have a built-in scratch-resistant coating. Since scratch-resistant coatings are sometimes optional, make sure your optician knows that you want your eyeglass lenses to include hard coating for extra durability. Also, ask about the warranty on eyeglass lenses that are treated with scratch-resistant coating versus those without the coating. Since a scratch-resistant coating can't completely protect your lenses from wear and tear, do 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 products that promise to repair your scratched lenses. These products may fill in the scratches, but it is impossible for them to make the scratches disappear so the lenses look new again.

Anti-Fog Coating
If you live in a cold climate, nothing is more frustrating than having your eyeglasses fog up when you come in from the cold. This also can be a safety issue, since it limits your ability to see for several minutes until the fog clears. Lens fogging can be especially dangerous for police officers and other first responders to emergency situations. At least one eyeglass lens coating company (Opticote, Inc., Franklin Park, Ill.) has created a coating designed to eliminate this problem. Its thermally cured coating called Fog Free eliminates the condensation of moisture on lenses that causes fogging, keeping your lenses and vision clear when you make the transition from a cold environment to a warm one. It may also keep your lenses from fogging up during sports and other times you are hot and perspiring.

Fog Free can be applied to plastic, polycarbonate and other eyeglass lenses, including high-index lenses and Transitions photochromic lenses. The anti-fog coating is applied to the lenses before they are cut to fit into your frame at the optical lab. Ask your optical retailer about pricing and availability.

Ultraviolet Treatment
Another beneficial lens treatment is an invisible dye that blocks ultraviolet (UV) light. Just as sunscreen keeps the sun's UV rays from harming your skin, UV-protective treatments for eyeglass lenses block those same rays from damaging your eyes. Overexposure to ultraviolet light is thought to be a cause of cataracts, retinal damage and other eye problems. Regular plastic eyeglass lenses block most UV light, but adding a UV-blocking dye boosts UV protection to 100 percent for added safety. Other eyeglass lens materials, including polycarbonate and most high-index plastics, have 100 percent UV protection built-in, so an extra lens treatment is not required for these lenses.

Photochromic lenses
These also block 100 percent of the sun's UV rays without the need for an added UV lens treatment. Aspheric Lenses and Slimmer Profiles Most aspheric lenses are also high-index lenses. The combination of an aspheric design with high-index lens materials creates a lens that is noticeably slimmer, thinner and lighter than conventional glass or plastic lenses. Aspheric lenses provide a slimmer profile for all prescriptions, but the difference is especially dramatic in lenses that correct high amounts of farsightedness. Lenses that correct farsightedness (also called plus lenses) are thicker in the center and thinner at their edge. The stronger the prescription, the more the center of the lens bulges forward from the frame. Aspheric plus lenses can be made with much flatter curves, so there is less bulging of the lens from the frame. This gives the eyewear a slimmer, more flattering profile. It also makes it possible for someone with a strong prescription to wear a larger selection of frames without worry of the lenses being too thick. Eyeglass lenses that correct myopia (also called minus lenses) have the opposite shape: they are thinnest at the center and thickest at the edge. Though the slimming effect of aspheric lenses is less dramatic in minus lenses, it still provides a noticeable reduction in edge thickness compared with conventional lenses for myopia correction. Superior Optics of Aspheric Lenses In conventional lens designs, a slight distortion is created when you look away from the center of the lens whether your gaze is directed to the left or right, above or below Aspheric lens designs reduce or eliminate these distortions for a wider field of view and better peripheral vision. This wider zone of clear imaging is why expensive camera lenses feature aspheric curves. A More Natural View of the World And Your Eyes Because aspheric lenses have flatter curves than conventional lenses, they fit closer to your face. This is a major benefit for anyone wearing a strong correction.

For strong farsightedness, aspheric lenses reduce magnification of the eye. The eye at left is seen through an aspheric lens. Through a conventional lens, the eye at right appears larger, even though the lens is the same power. Conventional spherical lenses with a strong prescription for farsightedness cause unwanted magnification. This makes objects appear larger and closer than they actually are. And because this magnifying effect goes both ways, conventional lenses for farsightedness also give the wearer's eyes an unnaturally magnified, "bug-eyed" look. Conventional lenses for nearsightedness do just the opposite: They make things look smaller and give the wearer's eyes a small, "beady-eyed" appearance. Aspheric lenses greatly reduce these undesired magnification and minification effects, so the world looks more natural to the wearer, and the wearer's eyes look more natural to everyone else. Buying Eyeglasses With Aspheric Lenses Aspheric designs are available in single vision lenses for the correction of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, and in bifocals and progressive lenses for presbyopia. Although most aspheric lenses are made from highindex materials, they can be purchased in regular plastic, too.

Plus aspheric curves flatten toward the edge. (Curves are exaggerated for graphic purposes.) Drawing: Vision

Consultants, Inc.

Both myopes and hyperopes can benefit from aspheric lenses, because they are thinner than regular lenses and provide better vision. Drawings: Essilor Airwear. For several reasons, frame selection is important with aspheric lenses. In general, the best-looking eyewear results when the frame is not overly large and when the eyes are centered in the middle of the frame opening. Your eye doctor or optician will help you select the best type of frame to complement your new aspheric lenses. Taking measurements for aspheric lenses requires greater care and skill on the part of the optician, but this requires only an extra minute or two. Creating the complicated curves used in aspheric lenses makes these advanced lenses a bit more expensive than conventional lenses. But the outstanding cosmetic and visual benefits of these thinner, lighter lenses make them a good investment. Since aspheric lenses are flatter and positioned slightly closer to the face than conventional lenses, some wearers may notice more reflections off the front and back surfaces of the lenses. For this reason, anti-reflective coating is highly recommended for all aspheric High-Index Lenses Are Thinner and Lighter Thinner and lighter high-index lens materials have impacted eyeglasses in a very significant way. Thin eyeglasses are attractive; thick ones aren't. Light eyeglasses are comfortable; heavy ones aren't. So it's no surprise that most of us want the thinnest, lightest eyeglasses possible. Most eyeglass wearers are nearsighted, and require the basic physical property of lenses with edges that are thicker than their centers. The stronger the prescription, the thicker the edges (see lens drawings below). Most of today's fashionable frames are made of plastic or metal with rims thinner than the lens itself. Also, popular rimless mountings mean that the lens edges are completely exposed. In either case, the lens edges are highly visible, and thicker edges can detract from the appearance of your eyewear. How High-Index Lenses Differ From Regular Lenses Eyeglass lenses are able to correct vision because they bend light as it passes through the lens. The amount of lightbending (or refraction) that's needed to provide good vision is determined by the eyeglass prescription provided by your eye doctor. For weaker eyes, the number in the prescription is higher, and the lenses must bend the light more to provide clear vision. Prescriptions for nearsighted people begin with a minus symbol (-). If your prescription is -5.00 diopters, for example, you are very nearsighted and need a stronger lens than someone with a -2.00 prescription. To bend light more, stronger minus lenses require thicker edges than weaker minus lenses. It's not unusual for a nearsighted prescription to worsen over time, which means the edges of your lenses will grow increasingly thicker with each prescription change. Fortunately, chemists have created a variety of new plastic lens materials that bend light more efficiently than the conventional plastic lenses used for eyeglasses. This means less material can be used in high-index lenses to correct the same amount of nearsightedness. Advantages of High-Index Lenses Thinner. Because of the ability to bend light more efficiently, nearsighted lenses made of high-index materials have thinner edges than the same prescription made from conventional plastic materials of the same prescription power. Lighter. Thinner edges require less lens material, which reduces the overall weight of the lenses. Lenses made of highindex plastic are lighter than the same lenses made in conventional plastic, so they're more comfortable to wear. Highindex glass lenses also have thinner edges, but high-index glass is heavier than conventional glass, so there is not as much weight savings with glass as there is with plastic lenses. Lightweight lenses are even more of a benefit for farsighted prescriptions, which can make conventional lenses very heavy. And most high-index lenses also have an aspheric design, which makes them flatter and reduces the magnified "bug-eye" look that conventional lenses cause in strong farsighted prescriptions. Many High-Index Lens Choices Different varieties of thinner, lighter high-index lenses are classified by how well they bend light. The ability to bend light is controlled by the material's "index of refraction," a ratio that compares the speed of light when it travels through air with the speed of light when it passes through a clear material. If a material bends light more, speed is slowed as well. So the higher the refractive index of a lens material, the thinner the lens.

Left: High-index lenses can be much thinner and lighter, even in a strong prescription. Right: The three basic types of eyeglass lenses: no correction (such as non-prescription sunglasses); farsighted lenses; and nearsighted lenses. (Photo: Vision Consultants, Inc.) For conventional plastic, the ratio (or "index") is 1.50. For glass, it's 1.52. Any lens material with a refractive index that's higher than that of glass or plastic is considered to be high-index. High-index plastic lenses are now available in a wide variety of refractive indices, typically ranging from 1.53 to 1.74. All other things being equal, a lens made from a 1.66 index material has thinner edges than a lens made from a 1.56 material. Lenses with an index of refraction of 1.70 or higher are typically at least 50 percent thinner than conventional plastic lenses. Also, generally speaking, the higher the index, the higher the cost of the lenses. Your eyeglass prescription also determines what kind of high-index material you want for your lens. The highest index materials are used primarily for the strongest prescriptions. If you want high-index lenses, be sure to ask for them. But rely on your eye doctor's or optician's advice regarding which index to use. Your eye care practitioner can explain which index makes the most sense for your exact prescription. Most popular lens designs and features (single vision, bifocals, progressive, photochromic, etc.) are available in high-index material. But there are exceptions, and your eye doctor or optician will know which high-index lens options are available in your prescription. AR Coating: A Perfect Companion for High-Index Lenses All lens materials block some light from passing through the lens. This light reflects back from the lens surface, causing distractions and reducing the clarity of night vision. Conventional glass or plastic lenses reflect about 8 percent of the light that otherwise would reach the eye. High-index lenses reflect up to 50 percent more light than conventional glass or plastic lenses. However, when an anti-reflective lens coating (AR coating) is applied, high-index lenses transmit 99.5 percent of the light. And by allowing more light to enter the eye, AR coatings provide sharper night vision with less glare a real advantage for night drivers. Because AR coatings also eliminate lens reflections, they make high-index lenses appear even thinner. This is a big plus if you want to improve your appearance in eyeglasses. Eyeglass Frame Materials Different eyeglass frame materials greatly expand your options for a new look. While shopping for new eyeglasses or sunglasses, ask your optician for advice about variety in colors, durability, lightness, favorite brands, hypoallergenic materials, uniqueness and price. In fact, finding eyeglasses with the qualities that are most important to you could be as simple as choosing the right frame material, because each type has its own unique strengths. Plastic If you want the colors of the rainbow, then zyl (zylonite, or cellulose acetate) is your material. Zyl is a very cost-effective and creative option for eyewear and is extremely lightweight. Particularly popular right now are laminated zyl frames that have layered colors. Look for light colors on the interior sides, which can make your eyewear "disappear" from your visual field when you wear them. An all-black frame, on the other hand, is visible at all times on both interior and exterior sides. Some manufacturers also use cellulose acetate propionate, a nylon-based plastic that is hypoallergenic. It's lightweight and has more transparency and gloss than other plastics. If your main criterion for a frame is lightness, then definitely consider propionate frames. Eyeglasses made of nylon first were introduced in the late 1940s. Because of brittleness and other problems, eyeglass manufacturers switched to blended nylon (polyamides, co-polyamides and gliamides). Today's blended nylon frames are both strong and lightweight. Nylon is also a premier material for sports and performance frames, typically made of gliamides, grilamid or trogamid materials that are very resistant to hot and cold and are more flexible, yet also stiff. Nylon also is easily molded into today's popular wraparound styles, as well as other shapes that are difficult to produce. Plastic frames do have some drawbacks. They are easier to break than metal frames, they will burn (but are not easily ignited), and aging and exposure to sunlight decrease their strength slightly. Color can fade over time, but not as much with modern materials. Metal Monel a mixture of any of a broad range of metals is the most widely used material in the manufacture of eyeglass frames. Its malleability and corrosion resistance are pluses. Still, it is not 100 percent corrosion-resistant: for some

people, monel can react with their skin chemistry. But this is preventable if the right kind of plating, such as palladium or other nickel-free options, is used.

Top: The Wasty frame by Immagine Design Eyewear is elaborately designed in a combination of plastic and metal. Bottom: Crystals abound in this Daniel Swarovski frame. Many frame manufacturers offer titanium and beta-titanium styles these days; titanium is a silver-gray metal that's lightweight, durable, strong and corrosion-resistant. It has been used for everything from the Gemini and Apollo space capsules to medical implants such as heart valves. Titanium eyewear can be produced in a variety of colors for a clean, modern look with a hint of color. And they're hypoallergenic. Some titanium farmes are made from an alloy that is a combination of titanium and other metals, such as nickel or copper. In general, titanium alloy frames cost less than 100 percent titanium frames. Beryllium, a steel-gray metal, is a lower-cost alternative to titanium eyewear. It resists corrosion and tarnish, making it an excellent choice for wearers who have high skin acidity or spend a good amount of time in or around salt water. Beryllium is also lightweight, very strong, very flexible (making it easy for an optician to adjust your glasses) and available in a wide range of colors. Comparison of Eyeglass Frame Materials Variety HypoLightCorrosionof Colors, Material Strong Flexible allergenic weight Resistant Patterns, Textures* Plastic Cellulose acetate & zylonite Cellulose propionate Nylon Coating Metal Monel With plating Titanium Beryllium Stainless steel Flexon Aluminum Coating Other Wood, bone & buffalo horn Natural Gold (10k) & sterling silver *Coatings and frames made of natural materials such as bone typically cannot incorporate artificial colors, patterns and textures. Stainless steel frames and surgical stainless are another alternative to titanium. Qualities of stainless steel frames include light weight, low toxicity and strength; many stainless steel frames also are nickel-free and thus hypoallergenic.

George Clooney models Izod PerformX-82 sunglasses, with flexible "memory metal." Kevin James is wearing Flexon Select style 1117. Stainless steel is readily available and reasonably priced. It's an alloy of steel and chromium, and may also contain another element. Most stainless steels contain anywhere from 10 to 30 percent chromium, which provides excellent resistance to corrosion, abrasion and heat. Flexon is a titanium-based alloy. This unique and popular material, originated by the eyeglass manufacturer Marchon, is called a "memory metal": frames made of Flexon come back into shape even after twisting, bending and crushing. Flexon frames are lightweight, hypoallergenic and corrosion-resistant. Marchon company officials describe the frame as about 25 percent lighter in weight than standard metals, giving you a much lighter feel on your face. Frames made from aluminum are lightweight and highly corrosion-resistant. Aluminum is used primarily by high-end eyewear designers because of the unique look it creates. Aluminum is not only the world's most abundant, but also the most widely used, nonferrous material. Pure aluminum is actually soft and weak, but commercial aluminum with small amounts of silicon and iron is hard and strong. Are You Allergic To Your Eyeglass Frame? Do certain frame or nose pad materials irritate your skin? Tell your eye doctor or optician, who can help you find eyeglasses you can wear comfortably. Here's the lowdown on materials: If metal frames cause a reaction, nickel is usually the culprit because most metal frames are made of a nickel alloy. Other metals used include aluminum, stainless steel, titanium, zinc, copper, beryllium, gold and silver. Stainless, titanium, gold and silver are usually hypoallergenic. Some people are allergic to the nose pads on metal frames. Most are made of silicone or acetate, but they also can be made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), nickel, titanium or rubber. Silicone is tricky: certain silicones are hypoallergenic (such as medical silicone), but others can trigger allergic reactions. Both PVC and titanium are usually hypoallergenic. Most plastic glasses are made of zyl (also called zylonite, acetate and cellulose acetate) or propionate. Other materials used in plastic frames include polyamide, nylon, polycarbonate, carbon and Optyl (a brand of epoxy resin). Propionate, polyamide, nylon and Optyl frames are all considered hypoallergenic. G.W. Unusual Frame Materials Want a distinctive style? Willing to pay for it? Try eyeglass frames or design accents made from these materials. Highend optical boutiques will be the best hunting grounds for this unique and sometimes pricey eyewear. Solid silver or sterling silver is not used commonly as a principal frame material because it doesn't make very wearable or comfortable frames. Sometimes silver is used as a trace element in metal alloy frames and often provides a jewelrylike accent on plastic frames.

Eyeglasses adorned with semi-precious stones and a sunglass made of wood. Click on photos for closeups and style names. Some companies make gold eyewear, typically gold plating rather than solid gold. Like silver, gold can be used for accenting plastic or metal frames as well. Wood, bone and buffalo horn frames usually are handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces. Wood and bone, though stiffer, less adjustable and much more expensive than other frame materials, are appealing because of their unique beauty. Buffalo

horn frames have an elegant look and warm to your body temperature; they can feel unlike any other frame you've ever worn before. Often used on temples or across frame fronts, leather is not as durable or practical as other materials used for accenting, but it provides an interesting and fashionable look. Semi-precious or precious stones and crystals are sometimes used as accents in frames, especially in the temples. Popular choices are onyx, turquoise and Swarovski crystals, but even diamonds can be used, for a luxurious touch. Such designs usually are worn in a formal office or on dressy occasions. Rhinestones are a less expensive alternative and often are used to create a flashy or retro look, especially in upturned cateye frames.

Eyeglass Frames That Match Your Face Shape and Coloring For many of us, the most important aspect of choosing eyeglass frames is how they look on our face. You could try on every pair of eyeglasses in the store to find out how each one looks, but narrowing down your choices in advance can save you a lot of time and aggravation. To do so, you simply need to determine your face shape and coloring, and understand which eyeglass frame styles and colors would look best on you. Matching Eyeglass Frames to Face Shapes You should consider three main points when choosing an eyeglass frame for your face shape, according to The Vision Council: Eyewear should repeat your personal best feature (such as a blue frame to match blue eyes). The frame shape should contrast with your face shape. The frame size should be in scale with your face size. Also, 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 best for each, according to The Vision Council. A good optician can help you use these guidelines to choose your new eyeglasses.

Round A round face has curved lines with the width and length in the same proportions and no angles. To make a round 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 An 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 An oblong face is longer than it is wide and has a long straight cheek line and sometimes a longish nose. To make an oblong face appear shorter and more balanced, try frames that have more depth than width, decorative or contrasting temples that add width to the face, or a low bridge to shorten the nose.

Base-Down Triangle A base-down triangular face has a narrow forehead and 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 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 by a few screws, with no surrounding frame material).

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

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 a 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 Vision Council's three keys to color analysis are: All people have either 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 that determine the best color palette are the colors of the skin, eyes and hair.

Are you warm or cool? Knowing the answer will help you easily select frame colors. These eyeglasses are by Moschino. Skin 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 usually are a secondary element in determining coloring because of the many variations of eye color. 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 also are 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. Eyeglass 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 Choosing Eyeglasses That Suit Your Personality and Lifestyle Because people generally recognize you by your face, the eyeglasses you choose to wear are a very real part of your identity. Whether you want to appear sophisticated, fun-loving, youthful, conservative or style-conscious, the right eyewear can help you shape how you are perceived. And if you choose to wear only one pair of eyeglasses for everything you do, that says something about you, too! What Do Your Eyeglasses Say About You? Eyeglasses can help people see the real you, or they can help create the image you want. The key is to find the right eyeglass frames to match your personality and lifestyle. The first step, according to eyewear styling experts, is to consider the different aspects of your life. "What do you really want your eyewear for?" asks Robert Marc, eyewear designer and president of Robert Marc Opticians, a chain of upscale optical stores in New York City. "What are the different activities you participate in? What type of work do you do?" For different looks to suit the occasion, most people can benefit from more than one pair of eyeglasses, just as they need more than one pair of shoes. "The same pair of shoes won't take you from a cocktail party to the volleyball court to the beach to the office," says Marc. Are you a fast-paced businessperson, an active outdoor enthusiast, a busy mom, a retired senior or a student? Are you a creative person, such as an artist or writer? Or, like most people, do you have a lifestyle that encompasses a number of different activities, interests and personality traits? To narrow down your choices, consider what eyewear experts suggest in terms of styling, color, material and size for various lifestyles. Eyeglasses for Serious Business To help instill trust and confidence among a wide variety of your business clients and colleagues, it's usually best to stay with conservative frame shapes and colors. Consider these choices to enhance your professional image: Classic shapes such as ovals, rectangles and almonds. Traditional colors of gold and silver. In plastic frames, no bright colors or unusual shapes. "Titanium and stainless steel are also good choices, as are rimless and three-piece mountings," says Richard Morgenthal, owner of New York City eyewear boutique Morgenthal-Frederics. In terms of color, silver, gunmetal, brown and black are recommended for men because these are easy, conservative tones to wear. Brown, golden tones, silver, burgundy and coffee are good selections for women. Eyeglasses That Showcase Your Creativity

Show your creative side with modern shapes, such as geometric designs in thicker and larger plastic frames. Many modern metal frames also can be creative in appearance. Today's more fashionable, larger-sized eyeglasses also are an option, as are more unusual colors such as blue, green and purple. Multi-colored laminations are another possibility. Morgenthal also recommends lasered details and finishes for this style of frame, because these touches are unusual and very modern. Glasses for the Modern Baby Boomer or Senior Just because you're eligible for an AARP card doesn't mean you have to wear stodgy, old-fashioned glasses. And men: get rid of those huge, old-fashioned metal frames in aviator shapes!

"Everyone wants to look young and modern," says Marc. He recommends frame shapes that are uplifting for the face, such as upswept rectangles for men and soft "cat-eye" shapes for women. Certain colors also can make you appear younger. Marc suggests gunmetal, deep browns and burgundy for men and lighter, shinier hues for women. "Shine adds life to the face for women," he says. He also suggests avoiding silver, black and dark, dull colors, just as hairstylists recommend lighter hair coloring for mature women. Eyeglasses on Campus College is a time to develop your own identity and show your style. Without constraints such as a conservative office environment, you have a lot more leeway in terms of eyewear styling, including eye-catching colors and shapes. Eyeglass frame experts suggest you take advantage of this freedom. Unusual shapes, bright colors, larger sizes and interesting details such as color laminations all are readily available in a variety of prices and brand names. Eyewear for the Busy Mom or Dad

For the busy mom (or dad) on-the-go with little time to worry about the latest trends in eyewear, a basic yet stylish pair of glasses works best. Ovals, upswept rectangles and soft cat-eye shapes are very functional and still look great. Depending on your personal style, you could choose to amplify the fashion effect of a basic shape with details such as jewelry-like metal accents or recognizable designer logos. Interesting colors such as plum, deep red, soft green and black can also add a fashion edge to a basic frame. See examples. Glasses for the Weekend Warrior Most adults live dual lives their "normal" 9-to-5 weekday life and their (usually) more active life on the weekends.

Just as dress shoes are the wrong attire for the gym, your regular 9-to-5 eyeglasses are the wrong choice for sports and active wear. For the best comfort, performance and safety during "weekend warrior" hours, choose at least one pair of sport sunglasses or sport eyeglasses. Styling can range from wraparounds to more conventionally shaped eyeglasses and sunglasses. An important factor in sports eyewear is the lens: polarized lenses can help reduce glare off water, polycarbonate lenses are shatter-resistant for impact sports and various lens tints work to enhance your vision in various lighting conditions. A knowledgeable optician can help you choose the best eyewear for your sports vision needs. Contrary to Popular Belief, One Size Does NOT Fit All We all like convenience. But the truth is, there are many aspects to your life and personality. And to complement your multi-dimensional lifestyle, you need more than one pair of eyeglasses. As the fashion-savvy Marc says: "Our customers really wardrobe their eyewear for the beach and work, as well as for sports and fashion. New eyeglasses are a great way to update your look without buying a whole new wardrobe."