During my typical workday, I see many people coming in to get their eyeglasses adjusted or fixed. I overhear customers trying to describe what’s wrong with the way their glasses feel—like the arms are too tight or the “thingy” in the back is hurting my ear.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the optician and the customer spoke the same language or had the same terminology to communicate better what’s wrong with their glasses?
In this article, I will discuss some of the essential parts of eyeglasses so you can understand what each piece is and what it does. As a result, you’ll have a better experience at the store, and I hope you’ll be better educated the next time you pick up your new eyeglasses.
Glasses Parts and Their Names
Here are some common parts of your glasses you may need to discuss with the optician:
- Lenses: Lenses are an essential part of eyeglasses because they are what you see through to improve your vision. Lenses are usually made of plastic, high-index plastic, or polycarbonate.
- Coatings: Coatings such as anti-reflective, blue-blocking, mirror, tint, or photochromic are incorporated into the plastic to help to enhance your vision and protect your eyes.
- Rims: The rims are one of the most essential eyeglass frame parts because they hold the lenses in the frame. Rims can either cover the whole lens or half the lens, or the frame can be rimless (the latter means that the lens bridge and temples attach to the lenses directly).
- Bridge: The bridge is the part of the glasses frame that goes over your nose and connects the right and left rims together. Since it’s the part that holds the rims, the bridge carries most of the frame’s weight. Typically, if a pair of eyeglasses break, it’s at the bridge. Some eyeglass frames have a top bar over the bridge to reinforce it, especially with half-rim and rimless frames.
- Temples: Temples hold the eyeglasses on your face and are the “arms” of the eyeglass. Temple tips are the part of the temples that hook around the ear. They prevent the temples from irritating the skin in the back of the ear.
- Hinges: Hinges are the movable part of the frame that allows the temples to fold inward. Screws secure them to hold them in place. Springs are usually built into hinges for better flexibility and to prevent the temples from breaking off the frame.
- Nose Pads: Another important eyeglass part is the nose pads. They are crucial to making glasses feel comfortable since they keep the eyeglasses from slipping off your face. Nose pads are either built into the frame, especially with plastic frames, or as a separate part, as in metal frames.
Putting it all together
It’s important to realize that eyeglasses come in all shapes, sizes, colors, and brands. You have an almost unlimited variety to choose from, but nearly all eyeglasses have these parts in common.
Knowing the essential parts of eyeglasses helps you make the best decision by working with your eye care professional to get the optimum fit and best appearance. And if you ever have a question or need your eyeglasses repaired, you’ll know exactly how to describe the part of your glasses that needs to be fixed.