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Anatomy of Eyewear – Crafting Bespoke Fits for Our Diverse Communities

By Sarah Bureau, RO

As our multicultural population grows, the need for unique eyewear fits also increases. While there are a handful of collections that offer designs with an alternative fit, the choices are still quite limited. For a significant percentage of our Canadian market, trying to find a frame that fits comfortably can be a frustratingly limited choice and a daunting process.

Understanding Unique Features for Perfect Eyewear Fits

The art of facial reconstruction in forensic science is a perfect example of the study of unique features that are prevalent in each of our ancestries. “Features inherited from generation to generation are expressed in the morphology (shape) of the human skull. Many of these characteristics have evolved in response to environmental factors, and analysis of the features of the skull can thus give an indication of the ancestry of an individual.”1 By analyzing the eye sockets, nasal cavity, cheekbone position, and general skull shape, anthropologists can determine an individual’s family place of origin. Having a bone-deep understanding of the distinct features that are characteristic of our multicultural clientele will also help the optician create a perfectly unique fit with a set of eyeglasses.

Skull variations among different ancestries include wider and shorter skulls with prominent cheekbones, heart-shaped nasal apertures, and less pronounced nasal bridges in individuals of Asian ancestry. Individuals of African descent often have wide nasal apertures and very flat nasal bridges. European skull shapes are generally characterized by long, narrow faces with comparatively flat facial profiles and sharply angled nasal bones. The nasal aperture can be narrow and lie high up on the face.

Modifying Frames for Optimal Comfort

Most frames being sold in the North American market are designed with European cranial structures in mind. For our multicultural clientele, it can be an incredibly frustrating experience with limited choices when searching for their next set of eyeglasses. Walking into a dispensary full of beautiful eyewear that doesn’t fit comfortably is a disappointing experience. However, even though the collections your office carries are not necessarily designed for every facial structure, you can still create a perfect fit for each unique client who enters your dispensary.

There are many options for modifying the frames you have in stock to create a perfect fit. Offering a chance for clients to choose a frame they truly love with an accompanying à-la-carte frame modification services menu can establish a client for life. In the same way we approach building a lens design with coating and upgrade options, we can approach building a bespoke eyeglass frame.

Elevating Your Opticianry Skills with Custom Services

Our Asian and African American populations have historically had a very limited choice when it comes to a frame with a comfortable bridge fit. Most of the collections we carry in our dispensaries are designed with a European nasal shape in mind, forcing clients with a low bridge to choose a frame with adjustable nose pad arms to lift the eyewear up and away from their cheek. However, there is an alternative. Become an optical hero by offering the choice to have a custom bridge created on any acetate frame they choose!

Acetate bridge modifications are available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and creative colours to create a truly unique set of specs by lifting the frame up and away from the face, resulting in a balanced fit.

For ancestries with wider facial structures, many frames have not been designed with enough width across the temples. This causes an irritating amount of pressure against the side of the head, pushing the frame down the nose and resulting in it not settling securely. By offering a hinge restructuring service, the temple joint can be modified to allow it to open further. Adding a lateral bend along the length of the temple will reduce excess pressure while providing enough contact to support a secure adjustment. Improper temple length can also affect an ideal adjustment. Offering a service to either reduce or increase the temple length is the difference between a comfortable and irritating fit.

By thinking outside the box and offering custom services, you can elevate your opticianry skills from average to exceptional! Offer a higher level of service while building a trust-based relationship with our expanding ethnic population. You are not limited by what frame designers are presenting. Get creative and set your office apart from the competition by offering a bespoke eyewear experience.

For an extensive list of frame modification services, visit www.sbspecs.com!

Check out the article on Optik magazine HERE!

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