Nose Pad Buyers Guide for Glasses, Designer Eyewear, & Sunglasses
Nose Pad Materials
Replacement Nose Pads: Replacement Eyeglass Nose Pads are available in a variety of materials. The most common nose pad materials are silicone, PVC (polyvinyl chloride), and PC(polycarbonate). Less common nose pad materials such as "shape memory polymer" are described below.
The classification of a nose pad material usually corresponds to the material that comes into direct contact with the wearer's skin, although other materials may be present in the nose pad. For example, some nosepads may contain a firm metal base at the point of attachment to the glasses frame, while other nose pads may use secondary firm materials underlying a soft silicone shell which provide additional support for the overlying nose pad.
Flex or No Flex Nose Pads?: The term "flex" when applied to nose pads refers to the conforming ability of the nose pad to bend and conform to the nasal contours of the eyeglass wearers' facial structure. For example, soft silicone nosepads are typically considered to have the highest flexing ability whereas titanium nose pads are considered to have no flexing ability.
Silicone: Nosepads comprised of silicone generally provide the softest feeling material to most glasses wearers. Silicone nose pads provide a high degree of conformity of the nose pad surface area to the wearer's skin, thus providing an optimum weight distribution of the optical frame on the facial surface.
Silicone nose pads are often referred to as "non-slip" nosepads; however, nose pads alone do not determine the degree to which eyeglasses may or may not slip from the nose. The overall secure fit of a wearer's glasses is largely determined by how secure the eyeglass temple portion behind the ear matches the contour of the ear. In sunglasses, the front and side contour of the eyewear frame and how they hug the face also plays a significant role.
Occasionally you will see the words silicon nose pads; however, the word silicon is a chemical element and not the material used in the fabrication of glasses nose pads which is silicone!
Visit the website www.SiliconeNosePads.Org for a light and lively overview of nose pads fabricated from the wonder material silicone!
PVC (Polyvinyl chloride): PVC nose pads are of a firm consistency and often are more resistant to degradation by facial chemicals and general wear than silicone nosepads. Soft firm PVC nosepads have been in the marketplace for many years and are commonly found on most types of eyewear.
PC (Polycarbonate): Due to their innate porous resistant properties, polycarbonate nose pads are highly resistant to degradation due to facial chemicals and general wear. They are also very light weight and are usually found in "ultra thin" nose pads incorporated into light eyeglass frame designs.
Stick on nose pads are popular nose pads for plastic frames and are a temporary disposable nose pad style used to add comfort to an otherwise hard plastic frame. Adhesive nose pads are commonly available with either a foam or silicone material. Nose pads stick on eyeglass frame surfaces best when the surface is free of water, oils, or cosmetics.
Clear nose pads fabricated in silicone material are a popular stick on nose pad type used in the optical trade. Silicone stick on nose pads and foam based stick on nose pads for plastic frames are also commonly referred to as simply self adhesive nose pads. For a detailed look at press on adhesive nose pads, check out www.AdhesiveNosePads.Org
Additional Nosepad Materials: Nosepads may be manufactured with a large array of diverse materials such as acetate, titanium, glass, and bohemian crystal based nose pads.
New Nose Pad Technologies: Recently, nose pads that more easily conform to the nasal area of the eyeglass wearer have appeared in the marketplace. These nose pads are composed of a "shape memory polymer" material that becomes more pliable and conformable upon being subjected to the wearer's skin temperature. This feature sometimes eliminates the need to finely adjust the nose pad mounting arms which control the angles in which the nosepad makes contact with the underlying soft nasal tissue.
Combinations of different materials in the manufacture of nose pads are also common. Examples are nose pads comprised of a firm outer shell material which overlays and encapsulates a gel, liquid, or air bubble inner core. Such nose pads provide unique cushioning properties.
Gel filled nose pads, liquid filled nose pads, and air filled nose pads are some of the newest nose pad technologies available today including Air Active nose pads which are air filled, and BioFeel nose pads which are gel filled.
Nose Pad Colors: Traditionally, metal based nosepads, such as titanium nose pads, have been available in different metallic colors. Also, non metal based nose pads such as those comprised of silicone, PVC, polycarbonate, acetate, glass, and vinyl generally have generally been available only in clear, semi-clear, and frosted (milky) colorations.
Recently, non metal nose pads have also been available in a variety of colors that compliment both the eyeglass frame colorations as well as the complexion of the glasses wearer.
The most common form of black nose pads is the adhesive stick on foam pads. These nose pads for plastic frames are relatively inexpensive but often need periodic replacement due to the deterioration of the adhesive backing.
Black nose pads for glasses are also a recent popular choice for sports oriented eyeglasses. Black nose pads for frames are typically purchased from the eyeglass frame manufacturer because they are often of a highly specialized design and fabricated in limited production lots.
As you can see from the above list, there is a myriad of choices when it comes to selecting the replacement nose pads that are right for you. Keep in mind that although the availability of stylish and colorful nosepads is plentiful, the basic consideration of the nosepad arm mount, material, shape, and size must come first!
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