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Glasses Frame Types

We group glasses frames into three basic frame types: full frame, half-rimless frame, and rimless frame. A full glasses frame has a rim that completely encircles the lens. In a half-rimless glasses frame there is no rim on the bottom or top of the lens. Most half-rimless frame styles have the frame on the top of the lens, but some half frames have the rim on the bottom. Half-rimless glasses frames that are rimless on top are usually for reading, and they are called half-eye frames (the lens sits low on your nose and the top of the lens is flat, so it looks like half a lens).

Rimless Frames

Rimless glasses frames have no frame at all around the lens. Rimless eyeglasses come in three pieces (two temples and the nose part). The lenses are actually part of the structure of the frame, so it is important to only use high index, polycarbonate or Trivex lens material on rimless glasses.

Mounting lenses into rimless eyeglass frames is tricky and requires a skilled and experienced technician. Each lens must be drilled perfectly so that the frame fits snugly into the lens. Poorly mounted rimless glasses frames will begin to rattle, and can eventually crack the lens. One advantage of buying rimless glasses frames online at Eyeglasses.com is that our labs produce very high quality rimless mountings.

Half-Rimless Frames

A half-rimless glasses frame design has a rim over the top half of the lens (and sometimes just on the bottom half). In most cases the bottom part of the lens is held in place by a nylon cord, but some frames are drill mounted so the cord is not necessary. The frame on a half-rimless frame is most commonly on the top of the lens, although occasionally it is located on the bottom of the lens.

Reading Glasses

This is a generic term that refers to glasses frames that hold lenses that are used only for reading (near vision). A reading lens simply magnifies objects that are close to us, like the letters in a book. Your eye doctor can determine the magnification power that is best for you, or you can figure it out by yourself through trial and error. Once you know your power, it is easy to shop for reading glasses frames online. Follow this link to read more about reading glasses. A doctors prescription is not required in order to select a reading lens. Drugstore reading glasses are simply glasses frames with lenses pre-loaded in a range of magnification powers. It is usually less expensive to purchase reading glasses frames this way, but stock lens powers may not provide a perfect vision correction. For best results, reading lenses with magnification customized to your needs can be installed in any pair of glasses frames or rx-able sun glasses frames. You can also make your own sun-readers for reading at the beach just by adding tint to the lens.

Reading glasses are becoming very fashionable, and many designer glasses frames are now made as reading glasses. Or, you can customize a pair of regular prescription designer glasses frames just by adding reading lenses to them.

Computer Glasses

The phrase computer glasses frames refers to any pair of eye glasses frames with lenses that have a focal length set at arms length, and with anti-reflective (AR) coating. The wearer needs to measure the average distance from his/her face to the computer screen, and give that measurement to the eye doctor. The eye doctor will then prescribe an intermediate (arms-length) prescription power to be used in the lenses. The anti-reflective coating helps to reduce the glare that may come off of the computer screen.


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