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Eyeglass temples: How do you know if they’re the right length?

The temples of your eyeglasses are the long stems of the frames that connect the front of the eyewear to the back of your head (just behind your ears).

Eyeglass temples must be the correct length for your glasses to fit comfortably and securely on your face. Temple length is measured in millimeters (mm) and most frames have temples that range in length from 120 to 150 mm.

Here’s how to choose eyeglasses with temples that are the right length for the size of your face and head:


Eyeglasses with temples that are too long and aren't fitted correctly (Fig 1) will slide down your nose. Glasses with temples that are the right length and are fitted properly will stay comfortably in place (Fig 2).

  • The temples of the frame should be long enough so they can be bent downward at about a 45-degree angle at a point just beyond the top of your ears. About 30 to 45 mm of the temple should extend beyond this bend point and be adjusted to conform closely to the contour of your head behind your ear. This will keep the frame securely in place without any pressure on your ears that could cause discomfort.

  • If you purchase a frame that has temples designed to be perfectly straight (not bent behind the ear), the temples should extend beyond your ears and end of the temples should exert a gentle pressure on the back of your skull to keep the frame securely in place without discomfort.

  • If you purchase a frame with temples that are designed to wrap around the back of the ears in a circular fashion (these sometimes are called “comfort cable temples” and typically are found on certain styles of metal frames or frames for very young children), the curved end of the temple should fit closely to the contour of the back of the ear without inducing significant pressure on the ear.

Properly fitted eyeglasses with the correct temple length should hold your glasses securely in place without discomfort to your head, ears or nose.

If your eyeglasses cause discomfort or redness or they slip down your nose, see a professional optician. In most cases, a skilled optician can make the proper adjustments to your frame and eyeglass temples so your glasses fit comfortably and stay in place.

READ NEXT: How to adjust your glasses at home

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