Have you ever wondered how glasses are made? It's not something most people spend much time contemplating. However, it is quite a process! A process that is sometimes even more complicated when it comes to producing children’s eyewear due to size of the lenses, the physical parameters of children’s faces and the complexity of some prescriptions.
The journey begins with a visit to either and optometrist or ophthalmologist who will assess the child’s eye health and determine the most appropriate visual correction path. A prescription is written up with all of the childs necessary details.
From here, the fun part of the process begins: Frame selection!
There is a myriad of choices available when it comes to frames. Some Miraflex styles are available in 30 colours! It is essential that you choose a frame that is durable, flexible and fits well, however it is also so very important to make sure that your child likes the frame. This will give them confidence and help make sure that wear them.
Once the frame is chosen, it is important that the right lenses are selected. We typically recommend Phoenix lens material for children. It has very good optical properties, is light weight, has 100% UV protection and is incredibly impact resistant, to protect those young eyes. In fact, Phoenix material is so strong that it is commonly used in industrial safety glasses.
Your child’s glasses will then be sent off to an optical laboratory to have the lenses made and then fitted into the frame. Because every prescription and frame combination is unique the lenses will be specifically made for your child.
Some prescription and frame combinations can be made from stock lenses. In this case the lenses are carefully measured and centered to align with the position of your child’s eyes in the frame. Once measured and centered, the lenses are put into a special edging machine that grinds them down to perfectly match the size and shape of the frame.
After edging, the lenses are fitted into the frame and accurately aligned. Lastly, the completed glasses are quality checked and cleaned, ready for your little one to wear.
In the case of more complex prescriptions or when thinner, flatter, lighter lenses are required the lenses may be specially manufactured.
This is a complex process that begins with the calculation of the exact parameters required for the lenses. A lens blank is selected and placed into a surfacing generator that grinds the surface of the lens with super accuracy to create the required prescription. After surfacing the lenses are smoothed and polished to create a unique lens. The lenses then have a durable hard coat applied to protect them from the rigors of daily life.
Finally the lenses are edged and fitted to the frame as described earlier.
For the more technically minded, here is a video showing a detailed account of how some lenses are made!
Having a new pair of glasses made does not need to be a daunting prospect, however it is good to appreciate that a lot goes into the production of each and every pair of glasses.