Nose Pad Buyers Guide for Glasses, Designer Eyewear, & Sunglasses
Nose Pads are available in a variety of shapes to accommodate both the comfort of an eyeglass wearer as well as the physical shape of an eyewear frame.
Eyeglass frame manufacturers select a nosepad shape to achieve an optimum aesthetic look while providing balance between form and function.
Selecting a replacement nose pad of a different shape than what was originally supplied may change the optics of the glasses. For example, a different shape may result in the optical frame being oriented too high or low, whereby this altered position may affect the visual properties of the eyewear.
Following are images and descriptions of the most common nosepad shapes and their characteristics:
Symmetrical: The shape of each piece of a set of symmetric nose pads looks identical when viewed from either the front-to-back or back-to-front. An example of symmetrical glasses nosepads is the tear dropped shaped nosepads illustrated above.
Optical shops generally prefer symmetrical nose pads since the left and right nose pad are interchangeable with each other, resulting in a smaller inventory of optical accessories and parts as compared to asymmetrical or asymmetric nose pads such as the common asymmetrical D-Shape nose pad. Teardrop shaped nose pads are available in both symmetrical as well asymmetrical shapes.
D-Shape: D-shaped nosepads resemble a capital letter "D" whereby the shape of the left nose pad is the mirror image of the right nose pad. As D-shaped glasses nose pads come in pairs of matching pads, a left nosepad is NOT interchangeable with a right nose pad.
Round: Round nosepads are, as the name implies, perfectly round shaped whereas there is no difference between a left or right nose pad.
Oval: Oval nose pads are symmetrical whose shape corresponds to an oval form. Left and right oval nosepads are interchangeable with each other.
Bridge Strap, Strap, or Strap Bridge Nose Pads: Bridge-strap nosepads are comprised of the left and right nose pad molded in-line with a pliable strap. The bridge strap nose pad is provided in a flat linear form whereby it is simply bent to conform to the shape of the wearer's nose.
Strap bridge nose pads provide a large surface area of contact between the nosepad and the wearer's skin which results in greater eyewear frame weight distribution, and hence, a lighter feeling frame.
Soft Wing (Softwing) or Unifit: Softwing nose pads are single piece pads that provide a large area of surface contact between the glasses nosepad and the wearer's skin as compared to the standard dual nose pad pair varieties. This larger contact area distributes the weight of the spectacle frame over a larger area resulting in less weight over any contact location. The weight is distributed along the top surface of the nose in addition to the inset nasal areas of the wearer.
Additional Nose Pad Shapes include teardrop, rectangular, primadonna, wave, and various custom shapes.
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