Eyewear Professionals and Consumers
AVIATOR-STYLE: Eyewear similar to those that military pilots
wear; they usually have a metal frame and large, tinted lenses.
Variations of the traditional aviator-style frame are very popular.
CAT-EYE FRAME: A retro style frame with upswept almond shape
and high temple placement that are sometimes accented with jewels
DROP TEMPLE: The temples are attached at the bottom of the lens
area rather then at the top and can have a slight upsweep or
FLASH-MIRROR LENSES: Highly reflective cosmetic coating to a
lens. The frame has a hint of mirror, adds style, shimmer and
color to the lens.
FLOATING LENSES: The lens is mounted in a way that creates the
illusion that the lens is floating in the frame.
GRADIENTS: When a lens has a gradual fade from a dark to light
color, usually fading from the top down.
LAMINATES: A plastic frame treatment that layers two or more
colors on top of one another.
PILLOWED RECTANGLE: A rectangular frame shape that is slightly
puffed or curved on the top and bottom.
READERS: Glasses which are mainly used for help with close work.
Entire lens area magnifies for ease in seeing at near point.
Since readers can be purchased in a variety of professional
and retail settings, some consumers use this as a “band-aid”
for regular eye exams. Don’t forget to see your Eyecare
Professional for a true assessment of your visual health and
RIMLESS: Frames in which the lens appears to not have a frame,
held together by invisible nylon cord, notches or mounting screws.
SEMI-RIMLESS: Frames with a traditional frame on the top half
of the lens, where the bottom appears to have no frame (but
is invisible nylon.) There are also semi-rimless with the rim
on the bottom and not the top.
Large glasses, generally sunwear, that were originally designed
to fit over prescription eyewear, which are now a fashion staple.
Lens is cut so it is one piece, covering more space on the face.
SPECIFIC EYEWEAR: Eyewear that is designed to perform well for
a particular function or usage whether for work, sports, driving,
fashion needs, etc.
TITANIUM: A type of metal alloy that is very strong, lightweight
and often hypoallergenic.
Zyl: Plastic frame material.
TORTOISE: A frame that is a mottled brown or gold color, which
resembles a turtle shell.
SUNWEAR: Sunwear that is designed to be worn over existing glasses,
and come in a wide variety of styles, colors and available lens
WRAP-AROUND EYEWEAR (WRAP): Type of eyeglass frame that curve-wrap
around the head, from the front to the side. Wrap-around sunglasses tend to offer extra sun protection because the lenses tend to
hug the face and protect the delicate tissue around the eye
as well. Get the Rap on Wrap-arounds here. See Advisory on Frame Selection here.
NOSEPADS: Located in the bridge area, they help to distribute
the weight for a comfortable fit. Some pads are made of silicone
type material that also prevents slippage.
BRIDGE: That part of the frame front that connects the eyewires
and holds the frame in place at the nose.
BROW BAR: On sunwear or sports eyewear a plastic or foam piece
that keeps the frame away from the brow to avoid fogginess.
It is located at the lop of the frame, near the wearer’s
Refers to any streetwear, sunwear, safety, athletic, or other
occupational or avocational, corrective or plano lenses, worn
in combination with an ophthalmic frame as well as contact lenses.
That portion of the frame front into which the lenses are inserted
or mounted and which is connected to its opposite by the bridge.
That portion of a pair of spectacles that is designed to hold
the lenses in the proper position before the eyes.
KEYHOLE BRIDGE: A type of bridge that fits only on the sides,
and does not touch the top. Resembles a keyhole.
SADDLE BRIDGE: A type of bridge that sits uniformly over the
SPRING HINGE: Type of hinge on eyeglass frames that flexes,
making the frames more durable. Spring hinges also help keep
the eyewear in proper alignment and help reduce the need for
TEMPLES: Generally defined as the hinged extensions on each
side of the frame front, which when the frame is worn, extend
along each side of the head, and in most styles, bend down behind
the ears. Temples are made to be reshaped to follow the contours
of the skull (see example)
and avoid direct contact with ears, while resting evenly against
the skull with minimum pressure, whereby they act to hold the
eyewear comfortably in place. See also Temple Variations.
That part of the temple that extends down behind the ear and
makes direct contact with the mastoid portion of the skull.
The temple-end is designed to be reshaped to follow the contours
of the skull whereby it acts to stabilize and hold the eyewear
in place for long term comfort and wearability. The temple-ends,
with all gaps and space removed, and making full contact with
the skull, NOT THE EARS, are the primary means of holding the
eyewear in place.
THREE PIECE MOUNTING: A rimless frame that has mounting pieces
that attach to each lens and a bridge piece that attaches the
lenses together making the look virtually “frameless.”
UNI-FIT BRIDGE: A plastic or silicone insert on a metal frame
that replaces the adjustable pad arms and creates a one-piece
bridge construction similar to that on a plastic. Some are very
flexible and have the ability to be customized to fit the contours
of the nose.
PRESCRIPTION LENS OPTIONS
(AR) LENS COATING: A lens treatment that is designed to block
reflected light. This provides a reduction in glare, reduced
reflections, and halos that you can see around light. It's especially
good for night driving. It's also applied to the backside of
quality sunwear to reduce reflections that can enter from the
sides and rear. See also the Back To Basics Opticianry Course, Anti-Reflection
Lens Coating here.
FLASH MIRROR COATING: A highly reflective lens coating used
for both cosmetic and performance reasons. Flash mirrors reflect
more light and keep eyes cool and comfortable. Great for contact
GLASS LENSES: Lenses that are heat-tempered for impact and shatter
resistance, but are not un-breakable. It's the heaviest lens
material but it's more scratch resistant than conventional plastic
or polycarbonate material. Glass is no longer widely used.
GRADIENT LENSES: When a lens has a gradual fade from a dark
to light color, usually fading from the top down. Use of multiple
bands of colors provides a maximum fashion forward look and
can coordinate with laminated frame colorizations.
HARD RESIN (CONVENTIONAL PLASTIC) CR-39 LENSES: More impact
resistant than glass, and approximately half the weight of glass
HIGH-INDEX LENSES: A lens with a high level of refraction, meaning
that light travels faster through the lens to reach the eye
then in a traditional glass or plastic. Visual correction occurs
with less lens material, so these lenses tend to be thinner
and lighter. Lenses come in a variety of indices. The higher
the index, the thinner the lens.
MULTIFOCAL LENSES: Lenses that provide vision with more then
one field of view, i.e., bifocal, trifocal, progressive (PAL),
and double bifocal. See examples here.
PHOTOCHROMIC LENS: A lens that changes lens color or darkness-density
depending on the degree of exposure to light.
PLANO LENSES: Lenses with no prescription, i.e., non-corrective
POLARIZED LENSES: These lenses block light reflected from horizontal
surfaces such as water, to reduce glare. Available in traditional
shades of gray and brown and can also be seen in fashion colors
such as orange, blue, purple and yellow.
POLYCARBONATE LENSES: This lens material is very impact-resistant,
and is very durable. It's recommended for all children under
18 due to their active lifestyle, and it's most beneficial at
work and recreational activities where safety is a major concern.
PROGRESSIVE LENSES (PAL, Progressive Addition Lenses): Multifocal
lenses whose corrective powers change progressively throughout
the lens. Each area of correction is blended invisibly to the
next, so the lenses do not have the lines typically associated
with bifocals or trifocals. Affords most “natural”
visual for all distances: far, intermediate and near. These
lenses must be chosen with care, however. They do not meet the
needs of all users, particularly in special vocational or avocational
circumstances. See example.
Ophthalmologist's Rx for glasses
An abbreviation of the word, Prescription, which refers to the
document that expresses the lens powers and other pertinent
details, and is signed by the attending Refractionist, i.e.,
Optometrist, OD, or Ophthalmologist, MD.
SUN CLIP: Tinted glasses that clip, either magnetically or clip-on
to your regular glasses. These provide easy to use sun protection,
and the lenses are available in a variety of materials, and
can often be customized to meet specific performance and protection
SCRATCH RESISTANT COATING: A lens treatment that increases the
durability of the lens and reduces the amount of scratches from
everyday normal usage. None of today's lenses are "scratch
proof." Proper care and cleaning is required to keep lenses
scratch free. An important lens cleaning practice is to flush
the surface of each lens with running water before applying
a mild detergent, rinsing and blotting with a clean, soft cloth.
Flushing the lenses first will remove scratch producing particles.
All lenses should treated as one would treat an expensive camera
or other optical instrument.
SINGLE VISION LENSES: Provide correction with only one focal
point. Can be used to correct either Hyperopia or Myopia.
TRIFOCAL LENSES: Multifocal lenses that provide three fields
of vision (Near vision, Intermediate Vision, and Distance Vision). See examples here.
UV (ULTRA-VIOLET) PROTECTION: A lens coating that protects your
eyes from harmful UV rays.
VARIABLE TINT LENSES: Tint adjusts to the amount of UV light,
could go darker to lighter, or change color (pink to blue).
EYEWEAR (WRAP): Type of eyeglass lenses that curve-wrap around
the head, from the front to the side. Wrap-around sunglasses tend to offer extra sun protection because the lenses tend to
hug the face and protect the delicate tissue around the eye
as well. Get the Rap on Wrap-arounds here. Also see Advisory on Frame Selection here. And see Letter to Eye Care Professionals.