In the modern market for medical appliances, there seems to be a distinct push towards making appliances as unobtrusive and almost invisible as possible. Whether it’s prosthetic legs shaped in increasing human forms out of ever more advanced materials to facilitate more natural movement or hearing aids intended to disappear deep into the ear, it seems as if everything is trying to go undercover. The exception is sunglasses.
These items have become very fashionable in recent years, particularly from exposure in movies and on the faces of world famous actors and musicians. Sunglasses are also quite essential for many people who are not major celebrities as well, as many people suffer from moderate to severe light sensitivity find walking out in most normal levels of light an ordeal without their sunglasses, oftentimes prescription.
Of course, while sunglasses are generally stylish and tasteful on their own, it should be noted that some styles are more fashionable than others. Oversized sunglasses are regarded largely as comedic props, rarely used to project a powerful, modern images, while aviator sunglasses are widely regarded as only a little past their prime.
One style of note is the style of rimless sunglasses, a style that is somewhat surprising, yet still more than viable as a source of protection for eyes against the sun and as a fashion accessory at the same time. This style of sunglasses is generally quite similar to the rimless eyeglasses that Steve Jobs made popular around the dawn of the twenty first century.
Rimless sunglasses start with lenses, like all sunglasses do. These lenses, whether built for fashion or medical reasons, are held in place (also known as “mounting”) with either hollow plastic double rivets or a series of screws. Whether screws or rivets, the binding material is called either “compression plugs” or “bushings” and are put into two holes drilled directly into the lenses themselves. From there the screws or rivets are attached to hinges, around which the rest of the sunglasses’ frame, including the nose bridge, nose pads and temples that make up the rest of the frame, are attached to the lenses.
The rims are of course not added on, but the rest of the frame is. The temples that hold the sunglasses on the face, the nose bridge that keeps the two lenses together and the nose pads that make wearing the sunglasses bearable, remains largely intact from more traditional sunglasses frames.
Modern advances in materials sciences have made twenty first century sunglasses without rims far more durable than their ancestors back in the 1880s when the style was invented and even into the 1980s when the style experienced a resurgence of popularity. Polycarbonate, a material similar to that used in bulletproof glass, has allowed all kinds of glasses to be lighter and more durable than ever before. Indeed, many optical labs refuse to use CR-39, an older material that is less durable, into rimless glasses of any kind as this material is far more likely to shatter on the user’s face than polycarbonate.