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Best Optical Retailers

What’s the deal with blue light glasses, and are they worth it? Should you go for contact lenses or eyeglasses? What frames best suit your face shape? We break down everything you need to know about choosing the best eyewear for you Read more...

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88 listings

The Sunglass Fix

The Sunglass Fix · includes 2 listings

4.8 from 248 reviews

Latest review: Took measurements of my old Oakley Cranks. I got the measurements wrong at my end and the lenses didn’t fit. Sunglass Fix make it easy to return the lenses and even offer a service in which they will

  • Product Quality
    4.7 (33)
  • Return Claim MadeYes (4) · No (26)
eContactLenses

eContactLenses

4.6 from 160 reviews

Latest review: Very competitive pricing, with fast and efficient service. We ordered contacts for my daughter very early hours Mon morning, and they turned up by courier in Perth on Wed morning. Amazing service!

  • Product Quality
    4.4 (7)
  • Return Claim MadeYes (1) · No (6)
Just Sunnies

Just Sunnies · includes 2 listings

4.7 from 114 reviews

Latest review: Great range. Great discounts. Super fast postage. Super cheap postage. The days of buying sunglasses in store are long gone for me.

  • Product Quality
    4.9 (52)
  • Return Claim MadeYes (4) · No (48)
Framesbuy

Framesbuy

4.6 from 108 reviews

Latest review: It was fast delivery and great glass wear . l just spend less than $200 but it was good pair of glasses l got.

  • Product Quality
    4.8 (57)
  • Return Claim MadeYes (1) · No (61)
AusSpecs

AusSpecs

4.6 from 109 reviews

Latest review: As a qualified optical dispenser, I am delighted with my new progressive lens specs. I will now order new sunnies

  • Product Quality
    4.7 (25)
  • Return Claim MadeYes (2) · No (27)
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Man holding glasses on a blurry street

Taking care of our eyes is extremely important in our day to day lives if we want to keep them healthy for as long as possible. Eyeglasses aren’t just reserved for those who use prescription lenses to see better. Even those gifted with 20-20 vision can benefit from the many types of eyeglasses on the market that’ll ease tension in the eyes and prevent eye-damage when playing sports, out in the sun or staring at a computer screen for too long.

Types of eyeglasses

Woman wearing blue-light blocking glasses
Blue-light blocking glasses

Man in cycliing attire wearing cycling glasses
Cycling glasses

Prescription glasses and contact lenses

One of the most common reasons people wear eyeglasses is to help them see more clearly.

You may need glasses if you are experiencing any of the following including blurred vision, double vision, fuzziness, headaches, eyestrain or distorted vision. The most accurate way to know if you need prescription glasses is to find an optometrist near you and schedule an appointment for an eye test. They can not only diagnose you but determine the power of your prescription for each eye.

There are many types of prescription lenses including single vision to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. In addition, there are bifocal and multifocal lenses with two or more powers in each lens. Prescriptions can come in the form of glasses or contact lenses.

Blue light glasses

Blue light is naturally emitted by the sun but also artificially from your screens via your phones, computers and TVs. It has been known to stunt melatonin production in your brain - the hormone that makes you sleepy - and may lead to eye strain when you’re exposed to it for prolonged periods. If you work an office job or are simply spending large amounts of time in front of screens, you may benefit from using blue-light-blocking glasses.

These glasses, also known as computer glasses, usually have an orange tint to them (to counteract the blue) and come in many aesthetically pleasing designs.TIJN is a famous brand known for its high-quality blue light filter glasses.

If you would like to restrict your access to blue light without wearing glasses, many smartphones and laptops also have a ‘night mode’ setting which will automatically shift the colour of the screen into a warmer tone to help you prepare for bed.

Reading glasses

Most reading glasses do not require a prescription and can be bought OTC. Unlike prescription glasses, they are not meant to be worn full-time and feature a magnifying effect rather than correcting vision problems.

Aging naturally leads to a loss of flexibility in eye-muscles and farsightedness (known as presbyopia). Therefore, reading glasses allow people to see things close up when reading newspapers or using their phones and laptops. They come in powers ranging from +1.0 to +4.0.

Sports glasses and goggles

Sports glasses allow you to see better in bright and windy conditions. Polarised sunglasses help minimise glare from reflective surfaces such as snow, water and asphalt. When you’re skiing, snowboarding or cycling, you’ll need special goggles or UV-protecting glasses that minimise the reflective polarising effect of snow and tarmac. Glasses can also be incorporated into many sporting attire such as golf, cricket, tennis, softball and watersports.

Polarised sunglasses

These types of glasses are the most common because not only do they protect your eyes from the sun, but they are also a fashion statement with designer brands like Gucci, Tom Ford and Chanel all sporting a range. Sunglasses vary vastly in terms of price, ranging from $5 plastic editions that you can find sold on the side of the road to $2,000 Cartier Aviator frames.

Sunglasses work by reflecting harmful UV rays away from your eyes and helping you see better in the sunlight - this is especially important to your safety if you are driving in bright conditions. Children, in particular, are vulnerable to UV rays and must be dressed in sunhats before they are old enough to wear sunglasses to provide some relief.

Look for the category rating of your sunglasses printed on the label. This will be a number ranging from 0-4, with 4 offering the most comprehensive UV protection and 0 and 1 not providing enough UV protection to be classed as sunglasses - but simply fashion spectacles.

How to choose an eyeglass frame that suits your face

Skin tone chart
Source: Sunglasswarehouse.com

Colours that suit your skin tone

Something you might want to do to get the most flattering look is colour-match your skin tone with your frame colour. No matter your skin colour or ethnicity, you will either be cool-toned or warm-toned.

One way you can check your tone is by looking at the colour of your veins. If your veins appear blue, you may have a cooler skin tone and if your veins look green, your skin tone is on the warm side.

Those with warm-toned skin best suit tones in shades of brown, gold, crimson, copper, orange, peach, khaki green, olive and honey which compliment your undertones and exaggerate them. It’s best to avoid harsh colours such as white and black or light pastels which can wash you out.

Those with cooled-toned skin would benefit from choosing a lens in black, silver, indigo, pink, grey, tortoise, rose-brown and light greens. You might want to avoid oranges, yellows and earth-toned colours which can wash you out.

Types of eyeglass frames

There are many different types of frames on the market today, but they usually fall into these categories:

  • Full-rimmed frames: These glasses make a bold statement and are the sturdiest of the bunch, designed to fully protect your lenses. They are made from acetate and plastic or can come in metal and titanium forms. Full-rimmed frames are best suited for those with round faces to give extra depth and angle to the face and to highlight the eyes. A great example of this type of frame includes the modern Ray-Ban Wayfarer frames.

  • Semi-rimmed frames: These types of frames are rimmed at the top to offer durable support, however, are more lightweight and minimalist at the bottom. They are a classic choice for many and flattering on all face types - especially triangle and diamond-shaped. A classic example of this includes cat-eye glasses and browline glasses.
  • Rimless frames: For those looking for a minimalist and sleek look, rimless frames are a lightweight and stylish choice. They call the least attention to the eyes and are discrete. Despite the lack of support, they are robust and usually made of titanium. Rimless frames feature just the temples and nose bridge, however without the additional structure, they can be more prone to stretching.
  • Wire frames: Wire-rimmed glasses have become especially popular in recent years and offer a classic and charming look. They are thin and lightweight, usually featuring large circular lenses and look great on heart-shaped faces and square faces to soften them and add balance. A classic example of this includes aviator frames.

Pros and cons of eyeglasses vs contact lenses

For those who find prescription glasses a hassle to wear every day or prefer a more natural look, there is another convenient option. Contact lenses have made vision correction simple and discrete.

While eyeglasses are less expensive than daily contacts and reduce the risk of eye infections, contact lenses can give you a broader scope of vision and won’t fall out during sporting activities. There are pros and cons to both and which you choose to wear is completely dependent on your preferences:

Pros and cons of eyeglasses

Pros

  • Simple to use
  • More hygienic
  • Can be a stylistic statement
  • Longer-lasting than contacts

Cons

  • Can fog up
  • Peripheral vision can be distorted
  • Might be uncomfortable or fall off
  • Prone to lens scratches

Pros and cons of contact lenses

Pros

  • Provides a broader and more natural vision than glasses
  • Great for active people
  • They don’t fog up when cold or rainy
  • A natural or customisable appearance with coloured contact lenses

Cons

  • Finicky to clean and store
  • More expensive & will need replacing
  • Can be difficult to get used to

It’s also possible to use a combination of the two - wearing contacts when you need them and glasses the rest of the time or the opposite.

How to take care of your new pair of glasses

After you invest in your new specs, you’ll want to keep them safe and clean. To do this, you should:

  • Avoid touching the lens and handle the specs by using the frame - in particular, the nose bridge. This will reduce the chance of you bending the frame - which can affect your scope of vision when wearing glasses and make your glasses uncomfortable to wear.
  • Rinse your lenses with water before wiping them as the dust particles already present can act as abrasives and damage your lens.
  • When using a spray, use cleaning products specifically made for glasses, not everyday household cleaning products as they contain harsh chemicals that can damage the coating of your lens.
  • When possible, leave your glasses to air-dry, otherwise, use a soft and lint-free cloth to gently wipe them down.
  • Store your glasses in a case when you are not using them - for extra safety, look for one with a microfibre pouch to keep your glasses free from dust and smudges.

If you’re investing heavily in your eyeglasses, you should consider purchasing a product with an extended warranty for peace of mind. This can be a cost-effective solution in the long run.

How much should you spend on a pair of glasses?

The amount you should spend on a long-lasting and efficient pair of eyeglasses will vary depending on the type, style, brand and purpose you’re going for. The price range of prescription glasses ranges from $30 up to $700+ for designer brands. They can be subsidised if you have applicable health insurance with a health fund.

Standard optical plastic lenses are the cheapest option and are likely to be featured on most of the glasses in the lower price range. They’re suitable for single-vision, low to medium strength prescriptions and are more prone to scratching than glass lenses.

The more complicated your prescription, unfortunately, the more expensive the spectacles will be. Adding extra features is done in order to best tailor the lens to your needs. However, they will also incur additional costs.

  • Aspheric lenses: Aspheric lenses provide a broader range of vision than a typical spherical lens since they focus light to a small point, creating comparatively no blur.
  • HD lens: These luxurious lenses are made using digital computer technology based on a digital scan of your eyes to fit your exact specifications.
  • Photochromic lenses: They darken when exposed to sunlight and filter out UV rays.
  • Scratch-resistant coating: No need to worry about the durability of your lenses with this coating.
  • Anti-reflective coating: Those who spend time in cold climates will know the annoyance of having their glasses constantly fog up, but this coating can help reduce that.
  • Polycarbonate: For thrillseekers and sports players who need glasses resistant to impact and are shatter-proof, this type of lens is the way forward.

Frame materials

The frame you choose may increase the price of your specs since they come in different forms including plastic, metal, aluminium, stainless steel and titanium, with titanium being the most durable and expensive.

Designer brands

With designer brands such as Chanel, Dior, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana, you are paying primarily for the label rather than the quality - this means you can get a great pair of glasses without breaking the bank.

You can check out the reviews on our website for some of the best optical retailers in Australia today.