Frames 101 – Choosing the Right Frame

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ErgoPractice News – November 2022
By Jin Chang PhD


There are two main goals for this newsletter. The first is to help customers select a frame that is best for their needs and facial features. The second is to highlight the advantages of SurgiTel and Oakley frames.

Frames Designed for Loupes

Not all frames are ideal for loupes. Our frames are designed and selected to meet specific requirements to deliver ergonomics, alignment, and safety. Currently, SurgiTel offers 10 frame choices.

Basic Requirements of Frames:

  • Stability
  • Comfort
  • 3-Point Fit
  • Lightweight
  • Eye Protection
  • Nose pad options
  • Adjustability
  • Ergonomics
  • Pantoscopic Tilt

Selecting a Frame if You Have an Eye Prescription

The first thing you should consider (when narrowing down the right frame) is if you need an eye prescription in the carrier lenses. Not all frames have the option to have an Rx. Note: If you wear contacts we recommend getting an Rx drop-in for days you are not able to wear your contacts (Figure 1).
Note: Bifocal is available on all Rx frames except for the SurgiTel Prime and ArmorFlex.

Figure 1: Example of drop-in Rx on a SurgiTel Con2our Frame

SurgiTel has five frames that have the option for an Rx in the carrier lens:

  • Aero 3.0
  • Ergo Max 2.0
  • ComfortFlex 2.0
  • ArmorFlex
  • Oakley Flak 2.0

SurgiTel has seven frames that have the option for a rimless drop-in:

  • Aero 3.0
  • Ergo Max 2.0
  • Con2our
  • Con2our XS
  • Oakley Flak 2.0
  • Oakley Radar EV
  • Oakley Radar EV XS

Selecting Frames for Oculars

The second consideration is the magnification power of the loupe you are looking at purchasing. Higher magnifications, especially 8.0x and 10.0x, need frames that are rigid and hold a tight alignment. The slightest bending can cause your convergence point to be off which is why sports frames are not recommended for 8.0x and 10.0x loupes. For all FLM loupes, all frames can be used. The Aero 3.0 frame is currently the only frame available for the new ErgoDeflection™ loupes.

Traditional Through-The-Lens (TTL) straight ocular frame options per magnification:

  • 2.5x – 3.5x Loupes
  • All Frames
  • 4.5x – 6.5x Loupes
  • SurgiTel Aero 3.0, SurgiTel Ergo Max 2.0, Oakley Radar EV, Oakley Radar XS
  • 8.0x – 10.0x Loupes
  • Aero 3.0, Ergo Max 2.0

Selecting a Frame for Comfort and Fit

The third consideration is frame size. With many different frames to choose from perhaps the most important consideration is fit. Frames come in different widths and heights.

SurgiTel Frames - Aero 3 Tortoise Shell

SurgiTel Aero 3.0

Con2our XS Lilac

SurgiTel Con2our XS

SurgiTel Frames - Ergo Max Pink

SurgiTel Ergo Max 2.0

SurgiTel Frames - Radar EV XS White Green

Oakley Radar EV XS


Frame Adjustability

For added adjustability and comfort, all frames come with Ergo Fit Nose Pads. Ergo Fit Nose Pads can be adjusted and shaped to any nose height and width. They can also give you more distance between your eyes and the oculars to reduce fogging and eyelashes from touching the oculars. If you are purchasing a SurgiTel titanium frame this frame can be bent for minor visual adjustments and comfort.

Evolution of loupes

Figure 2: The Ergo Fit Nose Pad System offers many combinations to create a custom fit.

Ergonomics and Eye Protection

The next consideration is selecting a frame that offers a safe working posture and proper eye protection. A core mission of SurgiTel is to help clinicians practice safely without posture-related pain. We do this by providing steep declination angles (DA) of the oculars along with proper eye protection. To help achieve a steeper DA, frames have a pantoscopic tilt (Figure 3). In addition to achieving a steeper DA, the pantoscopic tilt helps eliminate the gaps between the face and the bottom edge of the lenses to give better eye protection. Additionally, traditional frames come with side shields and sports frames have a wrap-around design to give added protection. If you work with lasers or x-rays filter options are available.

Figure 3: Pantoscopic tilt (Patented)


Frame Colors

Finally, your last consideration is frame color. The color of the frame does not have an impact on the basic requirements of loupes, however, we want you to be comfortable as well as look good. For the latest color options visit our frames page.

Custom Fitting

SurgiTel offers in-person fittings to help improve your ergonomics and comfort. Click here to schedule a free appointment today.