Choosing Frames & Lenses

Properly customized spectacles are more than just a frame, lenses, and a couple of screws. At Oak Bay Optometry, our optometrists determine a prescription and our eyewear stylists use their training and expertise to ensure that you get the best type of frame, lenses, and options for your lifestyle and visual needs.

Have you ever wondered what is involved in ordering a set of glasses? It all starts with an eye examination by an optometrist. The optometrist will ask whether you are having any particular difficulties with your vision, followed by further questions to get an understanding of your particular visual needs. The optometrist will then check how your eyes naturally focus light, either with an automated instrument or with a hand-held retinoscope. This provides a starting point for the prescription.

You may remember being asked “one or two?” at your last eye examination. This part is important. Your optometrist is paying attention to your responses and designing your prescription based on a number of factors — your age, lifestyle, comfort with your previous glasses, eye health, and even your height will affect the fine tuning of your prescription. Your optometrist will also assess your binocular functions, checking to see if you require adjustments, such as prism, to allow your eyes to work properly together. Of course, as part of your full eye exam, a full assessment of ocular health will also be performed.

Once your prescription has been fine-tuned, an optician or eyewear stylist can take the next steps to customize your visual correction. Face shape, strength of prescription, amount of astigmatism, and whether or not you are hard on your glasses will all affect frame selection. Lens selection is even more specialized. Depending on your prescription, different lens materials and curvatures are appropriate. You will be asked about your individual visual needs in order to determine which lens style is suitable. For example, do you do a lot of night driving? Are you an athlete? Do you spend a lot of time outdoors or on the water? Do you spend a large part of your day on the computer? These are all important considerations when choosing lenses. Once frame and lenses are chosen, optical staff will adjust the frame to your face and take specific measurements to make sure the lenses will be properly centered in your frame. All the measurements are verified and final adjustments are made to ensure the glasses are fitting comfortably.

All the little details mentioned above are important in providing comfortable vision and satisfaction with a new pair of glasses. Our team of experts at Oak Bay Optometry will provide you with attentive and individualized care when it comes time to update your spectacles.

RAEN: SoCal Influence and Design



Founder’s Justin Heit, Jordan Percy, and professional surfer Jeremy Heit started RAEN in 2008. Inspired by their hometown of Oceanside, California, each design is influenced by the eccentricity and uniqueness of Southern California.

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Cutler and Gross: Irrefutably Cool Eyewear

Cutler and Gross, the British luxury eyewear company most famous for the Kingsman frame (yes, the one in the movie), has been in the eyewear business since 1969. Graham Cutler and Tony Gross, both opticians, established their namesake brand with the help of frame maker George Smith, who made each frame by hand.

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Building an Eyewear Wardrobe: Frame Fit

Eyeglasses are important medical devices, and a pair of properly prescribed and fitted glasses can be truly life-changing. Our vision is a part of our daily lives, and being comfortable and happy with your vision choices is essential. Eyeglasses help define who we are, highlight features, accessorize outfits, all while performing to meet your visual needs.

Choosing a pair of eyeglasses isn’t just as simple as going to the board and grabbing the first pair you like. We all have different facial shapes and sizes, and frames come in all different shapes and sizes. There are no set “rules” to finding the perfect pair of glasses for you, other than fit is essential! Wear what you like, be bold, but don’t forget to make sure that they fit properly. Fit ensures a comfortable wearing experience, as well as a better visual experience. It is especially important in digital lenses that are built around the optical center. Talk to one of our eyewear stylists to find a frame that fits you perfectly.

Bridge Fit

There are two common bridge types we see in most glasses: nose pads, a saddle bridge in an acetate frame, or a keyhole bridge in an acetate frame

  • both can be very comfortable when properly fitted and adjusted
  • nosepads are much more adjustable to a variety of bridge shapes
  • acetate saddle bridges must fit perfectly to ensure consistent pressure across the bridge, and reducing slipping down the bridge
  • keyhole bridges offer a better fitting option to a wider variety of nose shapes compared to a saddle bridge.
  • universal fit bridges offer even more options for fitting a variety of bridges.

Frame Width

Frames should span comfortably across your face, without squeezing in or gaping open at the temples.

  • eye should be centered within the lens
  • temples should come into contact with the side of the head, but not exerting pressure

Temple Length

There are a variety of different temple types available, and each style fits differently. Your optician will be able to help you determine if the temple length is appropriate for you.

This is a basic idea of what to look for when finding your perfect frame or two to add to your eyewear wardrobe. We are here to help – our dispensing experts can help you find the perfect fit and look of your style dreams!

Pictured from left to right: Caitlyn in a keyhole vibrant green Cutler & Gross acetate frame, a saddle bridge La Marca acetate frame, a universal bridge Native Sons acetate frame, and a semi-rimless nosepad design Barton Perreira.

Etnia Barcelona: Handmade Eyewear That Won’t Go Unnoticed

Etnia Barcelona is an eyewear brand with a colourful history. When the first collection was launched in 2001, it revolutionized the way frames were designed by injecting them with an array of colours. Since then, the brand and collection have grown to become synonymous with creativity and high-quality, all while remaining an independent company.

Continue reading to learn more about how three generations of expertise have helped build Etnia Barcelona into the brand it is today.

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Sunglasses Edit: The importance of UV protection for kids

Hurray! School is out for summer and that means more fun in the sun! Days spent building sand castles on the beach, playing at the park, and exploring outdoors can lead to prolonged sun exposure. Since kids have no problem playing outside from sunrise to sunset, it is especially important to have proper protection from the suns harmful rays. Learn how UV radiation affects your child’s eyes and how to keep their eyes safe!

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Barton Perreira: What sets this eyewear apart from the rest?

Barton Perreira is much loved by customers, staff, and celebrities alike, so what’s all the hype about? We have gathered information on the brand inspiration, the dedication to craftsmanship (check out the video on how they Barton Perreira frames are made by hand in Japan), and the high-quality materials to help showcase what sets them apart from other eyewear brands.  Click below to learn more!

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