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Parts of Glasses: All You Need to Know

What are the parts of glasses called? | Frame | Rim | Bridge | Top bar or brow bar or sweat bar | Nose pads | Pad arms | End pieces | Hinges | Screws | Temples or arms

How many of the 11 different parts that makeup glasses can you name? By the end of this article, you'll know them all.
parts of glasses

Did you know that glasses are not just lenses and frames? Many other subparts make up the structure of spectacles, and they all have a name and a specific function.

Vision is an aspect of our life that we often take for granted. For many of us, it’s only when we are told that we require vision correction that we realize how much vision improves our quality of life every day.

Seeing that they are such fragile objects, we need to know the parts of eyeglasses so that if ever the need be, we are empowered to explain our requirements to an optical professional, or we can look for replacement glasses parts by ourselves at a store.

Parts of Glasses - Labelled image
Parts of Glasses - Labelled image

What are the parts of glasses called?

Essentially, any pair of eyeglasses has three parts: the front of the frame and the two arms,  known as temples. Each of these has its subparts depending on the design and materials used. The subparts are all indicated in the labeled picture here and then explained in the list below.


Half rim andrimless glasses often have a nylon rope that holds thelenses in place.

  • Frame

By frame, it’s meant everything that surrounds the lenses. It is the structure of the glasses. Frames can be made of many materials, such as plastic, acetatemetal, wood, and other eco-friendly materials. They can also have different shapes and features, and they have many separate parts with specific names.

  • Rim

Glasses can have full-rimsemi-rim, or rimless frames. The rim is the front part of the frame, which holds the lenses. It is the part of the glasses that gives them their characteristic style.

  • Bridge

It bridges the two lenses over your nose and holds most of the weight of your glasses. It’s a determining factor for how well the glasses will fit your face. Indeed, bridges vary by style to suit different face shapes.

  • Top bar or brow bar or sweat bar

Some glasses have a top bar placed just above the bridge between the lenses. Its purpose is either to make the frame more sturdy or to add a fashion detail. For example, most pilot models have a top bar. This piece can also be known as a double bridge.

  • Nose pads

These refer to the small oval pads that rest on your nose for a perfect fit and to prevent the glasses from slipping down. Nose pads can be set up in two ways:

  1. Full-rim nose pads: in this case, the nose pads are sculpted as part of the frame front. They’re polished to not be rough on your nose. Acetate or Plastic frames most often have sculpted nose pads which are a part of the frame front.
  2. Push-in nose pads: in this case, the nose pads are attached to the rim. They are usually made of soft clear plastic. The bigger the pad, the more visible it is, and the lesser it is likely to “dig” into the skin. Metal frames have small bars that hold soft plastic nose pads that are adjustable. You can opt for adjustable nose pads for the best comfort.
  • Pad arms

These small pieces (“arms”) attach the nose pads to the rim. They can be adjustable so you can find the best fit, and they are mainly built on metal frames.

  • End pieces

The end pieces are found at the top outer corners of the rim. They connect the hinges to the temples and can be decorated to insert fashion details into the frame.

  • Hinges

The hinges are the metal joints of your glasses, held together by screws or sometimes by intricate metal joins. They connect the end pieces (or frame front, as not all frames have end pieces) to the temples. Thanks to the hinges, you can easily fold and move the temples. There’s a variety of hinges available which are secured in different ways, such as spring hinges.

  • Screws

The screws are the parts of glasses that are easier to replace if broken or lost. They hold together the two halves of a hinge and can be tightened or loosened with a little screwdriver. Most glasses repair kits include screws and a screwdriver specifically made for them.

  • Temples or arms

Temples are the “arms” of your frames and are located on the sides of your head, sitting on your ears. Their core function is to keep your glasses secure as you go through the day wearing them. Temples can be of the following types:

  1. Paddle or blade or straight temple: it’s a temple without a bend to it and is, therefore, completely straight.
  2. Curl sides: also known as cable temples and typically found in metal frames, the part of the temple close to the ear curls at the ends for a comfortable fit.
  3. Drop or hockey end or swan neck: it is the most common design found in modern eyeglass frames. These frames bend downward to create a secure fit behind your ears.
  • Temple tips

The temple tips are placed at the end of the temples. They are made from a different and more comfortable material because they aim to protect the skin behind your ear from irritation.

  • Lenses

Lenses are the most crucial part of your prescription glasses. They’re chosen according to the prescription details from your optometrist for correcting your vision problems (like astigmatismmyopia, and hyperopia).

Lenses can be made of various materials and then customized with many different coatings, such as anti-scratch, anti-fog, and anti-glare, and add-ons like transitions, polarization,  zFORT® blue block, tinting, and mirror.

According to your prescription and needs, your optician will point you in the right direction regarding which lenses to choose.

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