How to Describe Eyeglasses

Paul Tearle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Whether your eyeglasses are an accessory, a visual aid, or both, it's beneficial to learn their various parts. Eyeglass repairs, replacements and adjustments are more easily accomplished when you know how your eyeglass frames work. You can simplify eyeglass frame purchasing by knowing where to find the size, color and model of the frame.


Hold the frame so it is facing you. The front of the frame can be made out of a metal, plastic or both. The area surrounding the lens is called the rim. Some frames have full rims, while others can have only a top rim, these are called sem-rimless. Semi-rimless frames hold the lenses in place with a transparent cord.

Locate the two parts of your frame that rest behind your ears. These are the temples. The ends of the temples can be bent at a 45 degree angle to rest comfortably behind your ear. The endpieces connect the temples connect to the rim of the frame. Occasionally, with metal frames, the ends are covered with tightly fitted plastic, called earpieces.

Locate the area where the frame rests on your nose. These two pads are called nose pads, and they connect the rims of the frame. The nose pads are attached to the frame by pad arms. Some frames, like plastic frames, do not have nose pads. The area that extends over the nose is called the bridge.

Model, Style, Color and Size

Find a set of letters, numbers or words printed on the inside of the temples. Some are located near the lenses, while others are printed on the earpieces.

Read the first set of words, letters and/or numbers. This usually identifies the name of the frame, followed by numbers which are the model numbers. This is important to know if you need to search for the frame in several locations or if you need to replace parts of your frame.

Locate the next set of numbers and/or letters. This is the color of your frame, as the manufacturer or store would identify it.

Read the last three sets of numbers. The first number is the eye size, followed by the bridge size. Eye size describes the size of the lenses in millimeters. The bridge size is the centimeter length between the lenses. These numbers are always single or double digits. The last three-digit number is the centimeter length of the temple, which extends from the hinge to the curved part that lays over the ear.