Diagram of Reading Glasses Parts

Have you experienced confusion in trying to differentiate between the compositional parts of your reading glasses? For instance, can you locate the bridge versus the top bar, the temples versus the end pieces or nose pads versus pad arms? If you answered no, you are not alone. Reading glasses parts and pieces can become confusing for the average wearer to decipher. Peruse our diagram of reading glasses parts for a detailed explanation of the typical pair of eye wear.

1. Bridge: The area that arches up over the nose between the lenses thus supporting the majority of the glasses weight. There are several different types of bridges:

  • A keyhole bridge is shaped like an old-fashioned keyhole and rests on the sides of the upper part of the nose. This style is best suited for those with small or flat-topped noses.
  • A saddle bridge is shaped like a saddle and spreads the weight of the frame across the sides and the top of the nose. This style works well for heavy glasses or for those with sensitive noses.
  • An adjustable bridge includes nose pads that can be bended and moved for fit and comfort.
  • A double bridge has a reinforcing bar over the top of the bridge.

2. End pieces: The portions of the frame front that extend outward from the lenses and connect to the temples.

3. Eye Wires/Rims: Part of the frame front into which the lenses are inserted.

4.Frame Front: (not pictured) Outermost front part of the eyeglass frame which holds the lenses in place and bridges the top of the nose; consists of bridge, end pieces, rims and lenses.

5. Hinges: Portion of the frame that connects the frame front to the temples and allows the temples to fold inward in a closing motion.

6. Lenses: Clear glass, plastic, or polycarbonate eyeglass parts which hold a wearer's prescription.

7. Nose Pads: Plastic pieces which may be attached directly to the frame or pad arms. These help keep the frame in its proper position on the wearer's face, while providing comfort and a snug fit.

8. Pad Arms: Attachments that hold the nose pads in place; typically allow adjustments so that they may conform to the wearer's nose.

9.Rimless Frames/Mountings: (Not pictured) When the temples and bridge attach by mountings, or metal fixatives, directly to the lenses without the use of eye-wires or rims.

10. Screws: Tiny metal fasteners found at eyeglass hinges which connect the temples to the frame front; and on the bridge, which hold the nose pads in place.

11. Temples: "Arm" pieces of the frame that extend over and/or behind the ears to help hold the frame in place. There are several types of temples:

  • Skull temples are most popular for plastic frames. They appear bent down slightly over the ear and follow the contour of the skull.
  • Comfort-cable temples hook behind the ear with a flexible metal cable. These are suitable for children's styles and sport-safety glasses.
  • Riding bow temples are similar to comfort-cables, except they are rigid and made of plastic.
  • Spring-hinged temples include hidden springs in the hinges that help keep the frame from slipping. These are sometimes more expensive, but typically more resistant to breakage.
  • Library (or paddle) temples are straight, so they can be slipped on and off easily. This type is often used in reading glasses.

12. Temple tips: Plastic coatings that often cover the ends of the temples behind and/or over the ears to provide wearer comfort. Their use is common in regard to metal glasses.

13. Top bar: A reinforcing bar that crosses the top of the glasses, between the two lenses, on some metal frames; popular in aviator style glasses.