Possibilities for eyeglasses without frames

I’ve worn glasses every day since I was 3-4 years old. I can use contacts, but I don’t like them – I just wear them out for special occasions. I could get LASIK surgery, but I don’t want to risk losing sharpness in my vision or visual artefacts (e.g. halos around lights). However, I hate wearing glasses – I don’t like the look of the arms of the frame, hate the dents they make in my skull behind the ears, and don’t like them slipping down all the time.

Currently I’m playing the PC game “Deus Ex: Human Revolution”, wear the protagonist has cybernetic implants including these sunglasses. While browsing the web, I also found this site, of a guy who used a barbell piercing and strong magnets to support frameless eyeglasses: I love the idea, but hate the idea of having a visible external seating for the magnet/bolt when the lenses are off.

What are the possibilities for getting the effects of wearing glasses, without a traditional frame, contact lenses, or eye surgery? I’m thinking the “Deus Ex” look could be copied with particularly strong double-sided tape or glue to hold the lens units, though I don’t see that being an effective solution for daily all-day usage – or are there compounds, theatre glues, or other solutions that might make it possible? For the magnet/piercing option – would it be possible to implement the above idea using a much more subtle piercing or even a completely under-the-skin implant? (Any medical professionals or piercers care to weigh in on the possible long term effects, consequences, and feasibility of this?) Any other innovative ideas?

I suppose you could make a tiny squeezing device like a small version of a binder clip which would pinch the bridge of your nose, and then use magnets to attach the lenses to that. The handles may be omitted since the springiness is due to the bend of the metal itself.

It might hurt your nose after a while, though.

Not exactly innovative, but how about pince-nez?

Old idea. Pince-Nez:


Teddy Roosevelt liked them. Seems horribly uncomfortable to me.

I did think about the pince-nez concept, but I would think they’d be doomed to fall off easily. A modified binder clip might make them a little more likely to stay on, though they would also be likely to be even more uncomfortable than regular glasses, especially over time. Both ideas have the benefit of simplicity, though.

You could also try a pair of Silhouette eyeglasses.

I’ve worn the same pair for over eight years now. Extremely light, almost invisible. Very similar to what Stephen Colbert wears. No piercings required.

However, they’re a bit pricey for what are essentially three pieces of wire.

I have a pair of these that I only use for watching tv. I don’t even notice they’re on . . . until I go to scratch my eye.

Seems pretty close to frame #420611 from here. (It won’t let me link to the exact frame. Do a search for model #420611. For just $23.95, you can always give it a try.)

There’s nothing quite like having better than 20/20 vision, no need to wipe greasy glasses, no chance of lenses irritating your eyes and making them red, sore and dry, no need to grope around for your specs when you first wake up, grab the wrong bottle in the shower or lose all of your friends at the beach. After an uncomfortable (and, somewhat, surreal) 10 minutes under the laser and 24 hours with medical contacts on I’ve had better vision than I’d ever hoped to have, for almost a year. :smiley:

Toffe, I opted for the delux ultra boogaloo treatment that they (reportedly) give to jet fighter pilots that have 20/20 and want better. It’s like having permanent HD vision when you’ve always got by with an old CRT box. A few weeks ago I was out with friends and was the first one to spot the signpost and the only one able to read the writing on it. :slight_smile:

I also wear a pair of Silhouette glasses. In fact, the pair I have looks identical to the pair in the big pic at the top of the page you linked to.

I love them. They are extremely lightweight, I can’t feel them when they are on. Would recommend them to anyone who doesn’t like wearing glasses but has to. They are a bit spendy; I think I paid around $250 for the frames. They’re made of flexible titanium, so in addition to being almost weightless they are very flexible, so there are no real pressure points. They just kind of float on your face. Might be worth a try.

You could create a lightweight version of these: http://reviews.oakley.com/0433/2576/reviews.htm

(Oakley Over the top sunglasses)

Thanks for the replies!

The silhouette frames (and Zenni knockoff) are interesting, though I’m concerned about fragility - I’ve damaged and/or broken most types of frames, including titanium, just through normal use, regardless of price point. Now I stick to cheap crap, which absurdly seems to be working better than the mid-range frames I used to use. I started this thread out of idle thinking of Frankensteining frameless glasses for myself out of cheapo lenses and DIY hardware.

JustinC, what exactly is the “delux ultra boogaloo treatment”? Can you link to any details, statistics, and risk issues?

I’d love to hear any thoughts about or possible implementations of frameless lenses like the ones linked to in the OP.

On preview: naita, those are really interesting! I’m a bald guy though, the over-the-top bits would be really obvious. I like the thinking behind them, however.

I’ve seen people get implants under the skin to make horns, ridges and general bumps. Do a google image search for skin implant piercing.

You could get a thin metal disc implanted and then get glasses such as those you linked to in the OP fitted with rare earth magnets. You’d have to prototype it carefully to make sure the magnet isn’t so strong that it pinches off blood supply to the bit of skin trapped between the magnet and the metal disc under the skin.

That’s what the ribbon attached to your lapel is for. When you are surprised, your glasses fall off to express your shock.

If Eve was here, she would recomend a lorgnette.

Patty O’Furniture, yeah, I’ve seen some skin implants, but I’m not sure how they would be affected by effectively hanging weights off them - could they end up sliding down underneath the skin over time? How would they be affected by facial movements, such as frowns?

The prototyping issue you bring up is a tricky problem too - I don’t suppose there’s been medical research on this before exactly, so I’d think one would end up with a trial and error system - “wear this for a week and then I’ll check if the bridge of your nose is starting to rot”.

Fear Itself - stylish but impractical. Just like my links in the OP, and almost anything cool :slight_smile:

I’ve broken 2 pairs of Zenni rimless glasses since last November; they’re very cheaply made, the screws come loose constantly and I wouldn’t ‘save’ the money again. It may be my thicker lens prescription, but it may also be they’re made entirely in China for pennies.

Have you considered semi-rimless glasses, like these? They’re a lot sturdier than rimless, and almost as invisible.

In 2004 I was in a collision. The airbag went off, knocking the glasses off my face, and out through the sunroof. They were found by the cops and returned to me at the hospital, clip-on sunglasses still attached.

I’ve been wearing them ever since.

Yes I have; I had a pair that lasted less than a year before they were irreparably broken. My wife had the same experience last month.

postcards, that’s impressive! Pity about the price, although your experience suggests it might be justified.