Lens Treatments | Options and Benefits

When you buy a new pair of glasses it’s not just the frames that come in a myriad of options – these days your lenses can be ‘upgraded’ with various tints, coatings and treatments. But there are so many it can all be a bit confusing – let us break down the most common options and the benefits they bring:

Anti-Reflective

Anti-reflective coating (also called AR or anti-glare) is perhaps the most commonly offered lens treatment, and with good reason: AR coatings not only benefit vision and reduce eye strain, but they can also improve your communication skills! That’s because they make the lenses in your glasses look nearly invisible, so people can see your eyes and expressions more clearly, and you can make better eye contact with them.

An AR coating virtually eliminates reflections from the front and back surfaces of your lenses, meaning more light passes through, allowing your eye to receive a higher percentage of the actual light available – up to 99.5 percent. This means less glare, sharper vision and greater comfort. AR coatings are also a good idea for sunglasses, because they eliminate glare from sunlight reflecting into your eyes from the back surface of tinted lenses when the sun is behind you.

As an additional benefit, most anti-reflective treatments have a special layer that prevents spots and makes them easier to clean, although any scratches do tend to be more obvious on AR coated lenses, so be sure to only use products and cleaning methods we would recommend!

Photochromic

Photochromic lenses automatically darken in bright sunlight (triggered by ultraviolet radiation) to make your eyes more comfortable. Because UV rays penetrate clouds, photochromic lenses may darken on grey days as well as when it’s sunny and they will not darken inside a vehicle because the windscreen glass blocks most UV rays. However, some newer types of photochromic lens activate with both UV and visible light.

An added benefit of photochromic lenses is that they shield your eyes from 100 percent of the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays and because exposure to sunlight and UV radiation has been associated with cataracts later in life, it’s a good idea to consider photochromic lenses for children’s eye wear as well as for the spectacles of outdoor-loving adults.

Polarized

Polarized lenses are anti-glare and virtually eliminate bright light from reflective surfaces and so are especially popular with fishermen and sailors.

Scratch-Resistant

Untreated lenses are surprisingly fragile, and it’s very easy to scratch them by storing them incorrectly, placing them down hastily or even cleaning them with some kitchen roll rather than the proper cloth! Luckily, lenses that are treated front and back with a clear, scratch-resistant coating have a much harder surface that is more resistant to scratching and more durable. It’s worth asking about this, because scratches are not only unsightly but can also seriously compromise the clarity of your vision. Nowadays some lenses have a built-in scratch-resistant coating, but double check that this is the case with your prescription.

Lots of options, then! Pop in a have a chat with us to choose that which best suits your lifestyle.


Brand Spotlight | Lulu Guinness Frames

Dare to be different! That’s the motto of Lulu Guinness, who is perhaps most famous for her statement handbags, much loved by trendsetters such as Kate Moss, Emma Watson and Paloma Faith.

Remember the red lips clutch bag that was much imitated a few years ago? That was Lulu Guinness and she makes a knowing little nod to that iconic image with her signature little red lips printed on the arms of each of the frames in her eye wear collection.

Lulu Guinness at Patrick & Menzies

We love the Lulu Guinness range here at Patrick & Menzies because they are definitely a talking point, but without being over-the-top wacky! Rather, they are sophisticated, with a touch of daring – featuring inter-plays of colour and dramatic retro shapes.

The collection is targeted “at women with a fierce sense of humour and an even fiercer sense of their own femininity” and we can see these frames being snapped up by our clients that are looking for something playful and modern, but with a touch of gravitas.

Style details are important to this designer and along with the red lips and metal logo inlay, these frames come in a veritable rainbow of colours, and patterns including animal print, glitter, polka dot, and the trademark black, white, and red – whether you’re looking for a striking silhouette, vintage glamour or subtle whimsy, there’s a frame in this collection to suit.

High Quality Frames

But style doesn’t come at the expense of substance – Lulu Guinness frames are made from high-quality materials, built for the rigours of everyday wear and some of the styles are offered in an alternative, more generous fit. They are super comfortable too, with adjustable or integrated ergonomic nose pad systems and cushioned hinge bracket arms.

“Glasses have become an expression of one’s individuality”, Lulu says. “I wanted my frames to be beautiful objects in themselves as well as flattering for the face”. And they certainly are – luxurious yet affordable, the Lulu Guinness range is in all our stores and, as you would expect, we can fit them with the highest quality lenses that are right for you.

Pop in and browse the collection. We look forward to seeing you!


Finding the Right Frames for Your Face

 

While it’s wonderful that we have so much choice these days in terms of frames it does make the process of choosing the right pair for you somewhat more complicated!

If you’re finding it hard to narrow down the choices, then a good place to start is thinking about your face shape. Generally speaking, people tend to fall into one of five categories: Round, heart shaped, oblong, square and oval:

Round – a softly curving face that is as wide at the forehead as it is at the jaw and with wide cheekbones.

Heart-shaped – sometimes called an inverted triangle. Wider at the forehead and gently tapering to a more pointed chin.

Oblong – sometimes called narrow. A face that is longer than it is wide.

Square – a broad forehead and squarish jaw line.

Oval – a well-balanced face with defined cheekbones and no one dominant feature.

Most people have probably never thought about which shape their face most closely aligns to, and it may be that what you instinctively think you are isn’t quite true. Rather than relying on a friend cocking their head to one side and looking at you quizzically, it’s often easiest to look in the mirror and use a lipstick or a water-based felt tip pen to draw around your reflection (please don’t pick up a permanent marker by mistake!).

Once you’ve established which shape you most align to then see if these suggestions help you find a frame that suits your contours!

Frames for a Round Face

You may find rounder, smaller frames (think John Lennon) just make your face rounder still, so try out square and rectangular frames with strong angles for balance.      Ray-Ban Wayfarer or Clubmaster-type styles (think James Dean and JFK) can also work well, if you prefer a quirkier look.

Frames for a Heart Shaped Face

Heart-shaped – over-sized, pilot-styles and half-rimmed frames don’t work on this type of face as well as oval shapes do, but rimless glasses in particular will also work incredibly well for you. (Think Kate Beckinsale and Richard Gere)

Frames for an Oblong Face

Now, pilot styles do work for those with narrower faces (Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise are particularly fond of these!) as well as square, angular frames. Steer clear of narrow frames as they can make your face appear longer.

Frames for a Square Face

Continuing on the opposites attract route, square faces should opt for round and oval frames that soften the angles of the features. (Think Kendall Jenner and Justin Bieber) Or go for browline frames for a vintage look. Anything too strong or geometric won’t work as well for you.

Frames for an Oval Face

We should be so lucky! Anything goes for ovals so just enjoy having the freedom to explore the entire range Patrick & Menzies has to offer and pick whatever makes your heart sing!

Whatever your face shape, pop into any of our branches to start your selection!


Do I Need to Wear Sunglasses While Driving?

 

Summer is officially here! Hurrah! And while we may pop on our sunnies for holidays of lazing in the pool and weekends of barbecues and beers, do we give much thought to the importance of the right eyewear while driving?

Truth is, choosing the right pair of sunglasses can make driving in the summer sun not only a whole lot more comfortable, but significantly safer too. And it’s not always just a case of digging out the ol’ Ray-Bans, the shape, tint and type of lens needs to be given some thought.

Why do we need to wear sunglasses while driving?

Well, first of all, sunglasses reduce glare from the sun, meaning you don’t need to squint – and that can not only be the difference between feeling well and having a pounding headache, but also between arriving safely at your destination and being involved in a collision. On foggy days the correct lens can make things clearer, and on rainy days light reflecting off wet roads won’t distract or confuse.

Will any old pair of sunglasses do?

Unfortunately not! There are a few things to take into consideration:

Lens Type

You can choose between a ‘standard’ lens that reduces the brightness and provides UV protection or a polarized lens which not only reduces the brightness and provides UV protection, but also give superior glare reduction compared to a standard lens. They will improve contrast, sharpen detail and reduce strain.

Lens Colour

No fashion choices here, please! Yellow, blue, green and pink can interfere with your perception of colour and therefore contrast and detail. The safest and most common colour choices are grey, grey/green and brown. They reduce the brightness but don’t affect the contrast too much, maintaining or even improving the detail you see. Colour is a subjective thing and what’s right for one person won’t necessarily be right for another, so it’s always important to try different lenses when buying sunspecs.

Lens Tint

It’s a mistake to think you can just buy a pair of glasses with a dark tint and only wear them on the sunniest days as even if there is less sun, sunglasses can improve vision and make your eyes feel more comfortable. But if the glasses allow too much light to reach your eyes however, then you’re wasting your time. We can help and advise on the level of tint required, depending on your sensitivity and requirements. If you don’t want to have to buy more than one pair, then sometimes photochromic lenses, which change automatically depending on the light levels, may be the answer. A graduated tint that is lighter towards the bottom of the lenses may also be useful in some circumstances.

Frame Style

Most sunspecs have larger lens shapes that clear glasses, this is party a style choice but partly because a larger lens cuts out more light! It’s a good idea to find a pair which fit really well and relatively close to the eyes to cut out as much light as possible, while maintaining good peripheral vision.

Prescription or Not?

It’s surprising how many people who wear specs for driving and are dependent in a prescription for doing so, but don’t consider this in their sun protection, or even know it’s possible. If you are reliant on specs for distance vision and driving, then ideally you should really have the same prescription in your sunspecs. It’s relatively straightforward to do and 99% of the sunglasses we supply can be made to your exact prescription specification as well as the lens type/colour/tint and frame combination.

Hmm… so, not quite as simple as one may have thought?

Never fear – our opticians and optical assistants will be happy to help you make the right choice for your needs. Just give us a call, pop in to one of our branches or book an appointment.