Follow these tips to successfully fit your patients with the frame material that’s right for them.
There are a number of frame materials that manufacturers use to create eyewear, giving the eyecare professional (ECP) an array of options. While sometimes

The Garfield style in Ogi’s Seraphin collection incorporates lightweight aluminum in the top rims and temples.

the material patients choose is not a major factor in their overall eyewear selection, other times it is of prime importance to their comfort and success with their new eyeglasses. Because of this, it’s important to have a strategy to assist patients in picking the right frame material.

The optician’s goal is to communicate to patients in ways that foster trust. When they trust their eyewear provider, any recommendation will be accepted. This is the highest level of interpersonal acceptance ECPs can attain and it’s what they should strive for with every patient. And of course this applies to frame materials: Once you’ve gained a patient’s trust, your suggestions will be readily accepted.

Good patient communication be-gins by engaging the patient in order to develop a healthy relationship and create a team effort—the team, of course, is you and them. Sitting down at the dispensing desk for a simple chat or talking while at the frame board is where the conversation begins. “Tell me about…” and “Explain to me…” are great inquiries that help begin the relationship. The patient can now tell you about themselves, their likes, their dislikes, and what they may expect. Listen carefully to their responses.

Now that the conversation has started, dig deeper by inquiring about their lifestyle. This helps you learn how they are going to use their eyewear and the expectations they have for it, both functionally and cosmetically. It can be done either verbally or through a written questionnaire.

Once you know a person’s lifestyle, you’ll be ready to make some frame material (and frame style) recommendations. The following are some material characteristics to consider:

• Light weight
• Durable (able to withstand scuffs, scraps, and wear and tear)
• Strong (impact resistant)
• Color fast (won’t fade)
• Twistable and bendable
• Adjustable
• Anti-corrosive
• Chemical resistant
• Non-conductive (important with metal frames for electricians)
• Flexible
• Hypoallergenic
• Multicolored (double or triple laminated)
• Non-flammable
• Anti-slip (nonslip temple covers or nosepads)
• Perspiration resistant
• Coated (a resin or other coating over a metal material)

Here’s a look at a few materials to put your recommending skills into practice.

Want a high-quality flexible plastic material? Try one called Grilamid TR90 from Aspex Eyewear. This twisty material is 20% lighter than other plastics, extremely flexible, and can be produced in nearly any style. You’ll find it in Aspex’s EasyClip® and Takumi® Magnetic Eyewear collections. And each style comes with a magnetic sunclip that is easy on and easy off.

Offer eyewear that is easy to adjust at the bridge, endpiece, and temples to ensure a proper fit. The newly released Skechers Style No. SK8007 from Viva International Group has adjustable nosepads, slightly wider endpieces, and adjustable three-dimensional temples. This kind of adjustability makes a frame a real workhorse for a dispensary. The attractive temple pattern is achieved by a water paper transfer technique that wraps around the plastic temple and is dipped in water for a variety of patterns.

Injected nylon material can be made ultra light and won’t conduct sparks or electricity, which is essential to those working in certain industrial environments. For safe and trendy styling, recommend Style No. W032 in Kenmark Group’s Wolverine Safety Eyewear Collection. This frame uses lightweight injected nylon to offer extreme comfort, durability, and dependability.

Consider suggesting a unique frame material like aluminum that is an extremely lightweight metal to wear. The Garfield style in Ogi Eyewear’s Seraphin collection incorporates lightweight aluminum in the top rims and temples. What makes this piece so unique is the addition of a brushed matte finish and trendy color combinations. This vintage luxury eyewear design offers a modern American look and feel.

Plastic frame materials can be manufactured in multicolored patterns. The colors can be integrated into the material and layered for a dazzling effect. Style No. CD3225 in Safilo USA’s Dior collection is a great example of how color can make a difference. What makes these colors so unique for today’s fashion statement is the pearlized striated laminate and the faceted stud temple and tip detail. The frame offers delectable colors for women like beige mother of pearl pink, violet mother-of-pearl brown, shiny black, and gray mother-of-pearl cyclamen.

What kind of frame material recommendations might you make for a patient? That depends on the lifestyle information you’ve discovered. Here are few possible scenarios.

Scenario 1
Willie Schwartz, a graphic designer, explains that he wants a larger frame that is comfortable to wear for long periods of time. You notice that he is a man of size, is an eye mover (not a head mover), and the skin surrounding his nose is thinning.

Recommended Solution: Nylon
Nylon offers flexibility, durability, light weight, cold and hot resistant properties, and can be produced in any shape or intricate design. This comfortable material is great for sports and high-performance too.

Recommended Frame: Marcolin’s Tom Ford Style No. FT5220
An oversized aviator with tubular temples, this frame is made of injected nylon for flexibility and comfort.

Scenario 2
Juan Ortiz is an active urbanite aged 45 who sports stylish clothing. He doesn’t like to wear bulky eyewear or sunwear, yet enjoys lots of color. In addition, he insists on extremely lightweight and durable frames with an unobtrusive look that will stay put when worn.

Recommended Solution: Carved-Out Combinations
To address multiple issues, you need multiple materials. Titanium offers durability, elastic rubber helps keep eyewear in place, beta titanium can be molded in three dimensions for sporty style, and memory metals are great for keeping the adjustment.

Recommended Frame: TAG Heuer Style No. 0344 by Premiere Vision
A three-piece rimless with spring rubber temple tips, 3D molded beta titanium endpieces, and Autoflex pad arms attached to a titanium bridge, this style comes in 17 colors.

Scenario 3
Keith Robbins, aged 16, loves to camp, fish, and spend a great deal of time outdoors. It is important that he keeps up with his peers in activities and appearance. He wants to look good and his eyewear must be durable.

Recommended Solution: Twistable Metals with Anti-Slip Technology
Memory metals offer flexibility, durability, and lightweight options for active and growing teens. Eyewear made of memory metal holds adjustment for a longer period of time and is virtually unbreakable. Rubber-infused temple tips keep a frame in place.

Recommended Frame: Orvis Adventure Series Trek style by The McGee Group
Streamlined in design, this full-rimmed metal with a modified rectangle shape is comfortable to wear.

There are an awful lot of frame materials available, but with a good knowledge of what’s available and what the patient needs and wants, you’ll make solid recommendations every time.

Jackie O’Keefe is a licensed optician and a writer, lecturer, and course preparer in the Virginia Beach, VA, area.

Kenmark’s Wolverine Safety Eyewear collection features Style No. W032 which uses lightweight injected nylon to offer extreme comfort, durability, and dependability.
Style No. CD3225 in Safilo’s Dior collection is a great example of how color can make a difference in acetate. Offer eyewear that is easy to adjust at the bridge, endpiece, and temples like Viva’s Sketchers Style No. SK8007, to ensure a proper fit.


Aspex Eyewear
800-277-3979 •

Kenmark Group
800-627-2898 •

Marcolin USA
800-537-9265 •

The McGee Group
800-966-2020 •

Ogi Eyewear
888-560-1060 •

Premiere Vision, a Luxury Division of Logo of the Americas, Inc.
800-345-3733 •

Safilo USA
800-631-1188 •

Viva International Group
800-345-8482 •


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