Eyeglasses are one of the few accessories that have a specific purpose beyond just looking good. Many of us need them to see distant objects or to read small print, especially as we age. Despite their importance in our lives, most people know very little about their eyewear, such as the different parts and functions of an eyeglass frame.
While it may seem like there’s no reason to know these details about your glasses, basic knowledge of parts of glasses can help you to fix them if something happens. It can also help you determine whether they can be fixed, or if it’s time for a replacement pair.
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What Are the Different Glasses Parts?
If we could choose only one takeaway from this article, it would be the basic understanding of the parts of your eyeglasses frame versus the lenses. Every part of your sunglasses or eyeglasses that rests on your face or head when wearing them is a different part of the frame.
The glass or plastic parts that you look through are the lenses. The frame holds the lenses in place in front of your eyes.
Simple enough, right? Now, let’s break down each part, piece by piece, and examine its function.
Frame Parts and Their Functions
While there are many types of materials to choose from for your eyewear, the two most common types are a plastic frame and a metal frame. Eyeglasses and sunglasses have many parts that work together to make your eyewear functional and comfortable to wear.
Starting from the middle of the frame and working outward, here are the different glasses parts and what they do:
The bridge is the part of the frame that sits on top of your nose. A part of sunglasses as well as glasses, it’s a curved piece that joins the two sides together and connects the lenses. A frame’s bridge can be longer or shorter depending on the placement of the lenses and the distance between the wearer’s eyes.
The height of the bridge can also vary. If you have trouble with glasses sliding down your nose, consider low nose bridge glasses when you get a new pair.
Nose Pad Arms
Usually found on metal frames, these are little fixtures located on each side of the nose section. Each works as a platform for the nose pad and holds it in place. The arms can be widened or narrowed to help achieve a proper fit.
Soft pads, typically made of plastic or silicone, that sit on the nose pad arms. They help keep your glasses in place on your nose and provide more comfortable wear.
Also known as the rims of the glasses, the eye wires hold the corrective lenses in place. Eye wires come in many different shapes and sizes, and the lenses are customized to fit.
The top bar may also be called a brow bar or sweat bar. Not all glasses have a top bar, and it is becoming less common with modern designs. Made popular with the aviator style, a top bar can be used to add stability. It also allows you to use clip-on sunglass frames, which can turn regular glasses into sunglasses without photochromic lenses.
The eyeglass rim has an end piece on each upper-outer corner. The end pieces jut out slightly and work by connecting the hinges to the front portion of the frames.
Glasses hinges are located at the corners of the frames, working to connect the temples of the glasses to the end pieces. They allow the temples to swing inward and close, which allows for easy storage in a case or front pocket.
Tiny screws connect the different parts of your glasses frames, including the hinges and nose pad arms. Some of the more common eyewear repairs people need involve screws, from replacing lost screws to tightening loose ones.
Also called the arms, the temples are the sides of the glasses or sunglasses that sit over your ears and help keep your glasses on your face. The temple arms also hook behind your ears for a more secure fit. The depth or curve of the hook varies depending on the style and how your glasses have been adjusted to fit.
It’s important to note that your glasses measurements are usually stamped or engraved on the inside of the glasses arms. These measurements come in handy to help you determine what frame size fits best for your face shape and size.
Temple tips are plastic, silicone or rubber coverings placed over the ends of the temples. They’re used to protect the frames and prevent the temples from rubbing against the skin behind your ears. They can also help hold your glasses in place. A temple tip can come in a stiff or pillowy material to fit different preferences and skin sensitivities.
Lenses are plastic or glass pieces that allow the wearer to see more clearly. They can be made to accommodate one prescription (single-vision lenses), two prescriptions (bifocal lenses), or multiple prescriptions (multifocal or progressive lenses).
Besides being made with your individual prescription, an eyeglass lens can have certain lens coatings and/or treatments added to further meet your vision needs. Some of these treatments include anti-reflective coating, light-sensitive coating, UV protection, and scratch-resistant coating.
Eyebuydirect gives you plenty of ways to customize your eyewear and make it your own. If the prescription is off or the lens tint you picked isn’t your vibe, we offer free returns within 14 days of receiving your purchase.
What Parts of Glasses Frames Can You Fix Yourself?
Whether you can adjust or fix your frames will depend on two factors: What material the frames are made of and what part is broken.
For instance, repairing the temple arm might be as easy as tightening or replacing a screw. Using an eyeglasses repair kit to make small repairs like this, as well as adjusting for a better facial fit or replacing missing nose pads, can usually be done at home.
On the other hand, a snapped bridge will likely require professional assistance. It’s always recommended to take broken eyewear to a professional to have it assessed and repaired. Wearing glued- or taped-together glasses can affect your visual comfort and, in some cases, impair your ability to see.
Knowing the different parts of glasses frames helps you figure out the best solution to any glasses-related issue. On the off chance that you aren’t able to salvage your specs, Eyebuydirect has a wide range of frame colors, shapes, and styles that make it easy to find your new favorite pair at an affordable price.