Sunglasses are dark or tinted eyewear designed to protect the eyes from sunlight or glare. Glare is light that bounces off a reflective surface. Direct light from the sun can make focusing difficult and vision painful. Ambient light can affect the eyes too. Sunglasses have certain features that help with physical appearance and protective capability. For instance, polarizing lenses used in some types of sunglasses help protect the eyes from the glare of the sun.

Information on the anatomy of sunglasses is essential because there may be parts that need replacement should the need arise. The person is empowered to purchase these parts by him/herself. There are essentially seven parts that make up sunglasses.

Parts of Sunglasses


The rims are also called eye wires and help to hold the lenses in place. They define the overall character and form of the glasses. They are made of metal, plastic, carbon fiber, or acetate. There are three types of rims. Full rims surround the whole area of the lenses' edge, where the lenses are held together by a lens groove. Half rims encircle the lenses' upper half or in some cases, the lower half. Rimless lenses are held together by a screw or metal bridge via the outer edge.

End pieces

These are small plastic pieces of the front frame that link the lenses with the temples. They are found on the frame where they extend outward from the lenses and connect the hinges to the front frame. The wearer experiences extra comfort, especially if the glasses have metal frames.


It is found in the middle of the frame and rests on the nose, linking up the two rims. The bridge carries the most weight of the glasses and determines if the sunglasses are the perfect fit. It forms part of the frame for full-rim frames, while an extra piece of the bridge is needed for rimless or half-rim frames. The bridge's design and style vary according to a person's facial shape.


The hinges are movable metal joints found between the temples and end pieces or inside the frame. They enable the wearer to shut the glasses by folding and unfolding the temples. These hinges come in a variety of styles and can be secured in different ways. For instance, flexibility is possible with spring hinges since they can stretch beyond 180 degrees. Standard hinges work like door hinges and are the most common.


The lenses are the most crucial part of the sunglasses since they carry the eye’s prescription for clear vision. They can be made of clear glass, plastic, polycarbonate, or other lens material. They are held in place by the rims.


The screws are small plastic or metal parts that link the temples with the end pieces. They are found near the hinges and join together two halves of these hinges. The screws can be tightened to adjust the opening and closing of the temples. They are also located on the bridge and used to hold in place the nose pads. If a screw gets lost, it can be replaced.

Nose pads

These circular or oval pads provide comfort and a secure fit since they are designed to sit on the nose and keep the frame in place. They are round, made of plastic, and found under the bridge. Most metal frames have built-in nose pads, while plastic nose pads are found on metal frames. Full-rim nose pads form part of the frame front and are designed to avoid roughness on the nose. Push-in nose pads are fitted as a separate component to the frame's end, settling on the nose.

Pad arms

Pad arms are adjustable pieces designed to fit a person’s natural facial shape. They extend from the rims, holding the nose pads in place. The parts are fitted to the nose pad on one end and the frame on the other. However, pad arms are not fitted in every frame. 


The temples are long ‘arms’ found on the head’s side. They extend from the hinge and over the ears so that they fit snugly. The temples' primary function is to secure the glasses to enable a person to perform routine daily activities. Varied temple lengths exist and they play a role in how the frame will fit. 

Temples come in three types. One is the straight or paddle temple, which lacks a bend and is completely straight. The second type is known as cable temple made of metal or wire frames. It fits near the ear curls at the end, which gives the wearer comfort. The last type is called a hockey end or swan neck. It bends downward like a hockey stick so that they fit nicely behind the ears.