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High Performance, High Wrap, Sports Prescription Sunwear
Introducing Oakley True Digital

By Mark Mattison-Shupnick, ABOM

Release Date: March 1, 2011

Expiration Date: February 14, 2013

Faculty/Editorial Board:

Mark Mattison-ShupnickMark Mattison-Shupnick, ABOM is currently director of education for Jobson Medical Information LLC, has more than 40 years of experience as an optician, was senior staff member of SOLA International and is a frequent lecturer and trainer.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this program, the participant should be able to:

  1. Define the issues that athletes and sports enthusiasts encounter when obtaining wrap prescription sunwear.
  2. Understand the new technology of Oakley True Digital.
  3. Learn how optimized free-form lenses are better than traditional lenses for wrap frames, in Rxs for single vision or progressive lenses.

Credit Statement:

This course is approved for one (1) hour of CE credit by the American Board of Opticianry (ABO). Course STWJM502-2

This course is supported by an Educational Grant from OAKLEY

img1An athlete puts formidable demands on sunwear. In fact, sunwear must become part of the athlete and an extension of the athlete’s abilities and capability. Their sunwear must deliver acute vision in all directions; add comfort and fit great, all while protecting the athlete’s eyes from the outside world. These demands push sunwear innovation in a direction that benefits everyone, not just those who compete in sports.

Oakley True Digital is a new free-form solution for high performance, high wrap prescription sunwear. Using proprietary techniques, it combines the knowledge of actual frame shape and fitting demands to reconstruct the central prescription. It also utilizes Oakley Dual-Peripheral Technology to ensure sharper peripheral imaging and motion detection.


Prescription wrap frame design can erase the line between form and function by combining physics and art. The wrong frame in size and shape, or a design form that is too flat gets in an athlete’s way or offers too little lens or coverage. Instead of helping, it reduces performance, adds effort and robs the athlete of that critical burst of energy to score that goal. Sunglass wearers need lenses and frames that provide the best coverage of the eye and the area around it. Therefore, larger lenses and wrap frames better meet the sunglass wearer’s needs.

It’s the shape of high wrap, high performance sunwear that makes them so great. They provide great protection from wind, dust and debris while delivering an unobstructed field of view, with style and attitude. After all, the best of athletes will use their looks and presence as part of the package that defeats an opponent.

The bad news has typically been the difficulty of getting a prescription that works, into the frame. Every Rx needs to be the same shape as the frame, typically an 8 base—and that may be unusual. Wrap lenses fit patients at extreme angles and that makes the patient’s vision uncomfortable or unwearable. Lastly, the shape of the edge or bevel needs to be different for prescription lenses to fit snug in the frame. What’s an optician to do?


The companies that invented wrap sunwear understand them best. They consider the intended lens fit and shape i.e., wrap angle, tilt angle, frame curve and lens curve (Figure 1). Using the CAD drawings and actual frame measurements, the details of frame, lens position and fit can be included. Using free-form surfacing, an Oakley True Digital lens design can be created to correct both central and peripheral vision, especially in an 8 base lens. Then multiaxis digital edging prepares a customized bevel; drills holes or notches the lens. This delivers the right vision, cosmetics and edge for a better pair of high performance sunglasses for the athlete or anyone outdoors.

What if you edge your own work? The author works part-time as an optician and does his own bench work. In the past, that included wrap frames. However, with the edging challenges created by new wrap designs (step and fluted bevels), the improvement to specialty edging (multiaxis edgers) and advantages of free-formed designs, it’s an advantage to send the jobs directly to an “authentic” lab for processing. What are the components of an Oakley True Digital wrap Rx solution?

fig1 fig2


Once the patient has chosen the right frame for style and attitude, confirm a close fit to the face with good overall coverage for the eye and surrounding area.

Next, take monocular PDs and if progressive, monocular fitting heights. Consider fitting height for the sport for which the lenses will be worn. For example, the author is a cyclist (road bike) and presbyope (+2.50 add). The fitting height required is different (higher) for “on the bike” versus walking around. Discuss with the patient whether measurements should be for “on the bike” or not. Sometimes having the athlete bring their bike to the office gets the best measurements.

Next confirm that the Rx is within available range, choose the right filter color, polarized lens, and mirror and AR combination, and place the order. That’s it. In an “authentic” program, the company takes care of the rest. Since the frame dimensions are known, no frame measurements are needed, including wrap angle and tilt. The fact that the lab knows the frame dimensions exactly and can create the correct free-form design means that there are fewer risks to dispensing wrap eyewear. That’s an important difference. This reduces the number of variables for the dispenser and therefore, reduces the risk to order them. It means increased business opportunities with results that are convenient and easy.


Oakley True Digital considers the patient’s prescription, lens material, lens base curve required, frame shape, tilt and wrap angle to optimize the lens’ prescription to expand the clear view in all directions. Using free-form techniques, prescriptions are uniquely digitized and cut for high wrap frames. For the athlete and sports enthusiast who demands the best vision, it provides continuously clear vision from lens center through mid and far periphery, both nasally and temporally.


In wrap frames, flatter, ordinary lenses create double vision and blur, typically distort the frame and can make the eyewear unwearable. Instead, Oakley True Digital starts with the correct base curve for frame curvature. Since the actual prescription, when tilted and wrapped at extreme angles adds prism and changes lens power, the lens power is reconstructed to deliver the correct prescription in the way that the lens will be worn. This is in fact, the only way to actually deliver the prescription as the doctor prescribed it—anything else changes the effective power and binocularity of the eyewear.

Wrapping lenses creates prism (typically Base Out) in both plano lenses and in prescriptions. The loss of comfortable binocularity is the primary reason that patients might have rejected the wrap prescriptions that you’ve tried. Adding the correct compensating and opposite prism to the Rx neutralizes any induced prism from a high wrap angle, thus eliminating double vision. The wrap angle also changes the lens’ effective power so the prescription delivered is altered to become the Rx as prescribed in the “as-worn” position. This delivers the vision exactly as was prescribed by the doctor.

In the example (Figure 3), an Rx of -0.25 -2.25 x 90 would be measured on a lensmeter as -0.16-2.17 x 89, 0.24 BI. But when it’s at a 25 degree wrap angle, (the angle of the lens in the frame used), it would deliver the Rx that was actually prescribed, without prism. For the wearer, no change to the actual prescription is taking place and dispensers can rest assured that there is no “change to the prescription.”


For example, a skier must have excellent binocularity and depth perception to judge distance and predict the terrain through a series of moguls. Without a prism corrected Rx, that would not be possible. The results are great looks and excellent acuity, binocularity and comfort.

The increased angles of view and the shape of wrap lenses require a peripheral lens design that is also different from standard lenses. There are peripheral base curve, eye angle of view and centration effects, so a digitized redesign of the periphery makes sense, especially for the athlete with high performance requirements.


Oakley Dual Peripheral Technology is designed to ensure improved peripheral image and motion detection. Using freeform techniques, the Oakley laboratory balances the mid-peripheral prismatic effects for binocularity and reduces the blur in the far periphery to best detect movement.



Peripheral powers and prism change as the eye rotates behind the lens. Optimizing the binocular effects i.e., off axis prism imbalance for the frame chosen ensures a balanced view. Figure 4 illustrates the binocular, unwanted horizontal prism in a -3.00D prescription OU. This shows that unwanted prism is limited to about 0.25 for the area of mid-periphery. This provides for wider fields of clear view.



In an evolutionary way, prehistoric man had to know when a predator was lurking in the shadows, just out of the field of view. As a result, the visual system evolved to make the periphery of the retina extremely sensitive to small amounts of changing light and the ability to turn the eye to confirm a threat.

It’s the same for the modern athlete. For a cyclist, competitors in the far periphery about to make a break from the peloton, must be “seen” as soon as possible to ensure that a like reaction occurs if necessary. So, the best far peripheral clarity would be beneficial. Clarity of motion detection would be improved if blur (astigmatism and power error) and distortion are corrected at the angles of the far periphery.

Figure 5 illustrates the cylinder and power error of an 8 base, high plus lens (upper) versus the same lens done as an Oakley True Digital (lower). Using the ellipse as a suggested frame shape, it can be seen that there is significantly more blur for the spherical lens. The Oakley True Digital lens is significantly less blurred for improved far peripheral vision.


By reducing the errors at these angles and reweighting the way that the periphery affects vision, both eyes can provide the right three-dimensional spatial cues.

Therefore, more than just the axial-wrapcompensations are required when thinking about lenses that work for the athlete. Lenses that correct the periphery can outperform an ordinary 8 base added to wrap frames. These lenses can provide a better recognition of peripheral objects and movement, and when combined with sports training, practice and experience, wearers can improve sports performance.

Lastly, for better lens cosmetics, lenses are manufactured with a thickness reduction prism. This insures that lens thickness at the frame top and bottom is the same. This has been a typical improvement in progressives in standard lenses, now used also for wrap eyewear.


Wrap frames also place special demand on edging. The extreme angles at the lens periphery as well as the position of the nose pad may get in the way of the lens edge; standard bevels do not work. For mid to high minus and plus prescriptions, lens thickness requires steeper bevels and the rear lens wall must be angled correctly to avoid the frame behind the bezel.

One solution for plastic wrap frames was to place the bevel at the back of the lens. This results in the lens protruding from frame front, changing the angle of the lens and the effect of the Rx. More importantly, it changes the way the patient receives their new glasses; differently from the way they expected their eyewear to look. For the newer step bevel and fluted lens designs, specialty-edging systems are required.


Oakley True Digital and Oakley Dual Peripheral Technology capitalize on a proprietary Oakley frame database to accurately deliver the right digital lens designs in a patient’s prescription. Reconstructing the central Rx and redesigning the periphery for the frame chosen for the way that the frame fits, provide an optimized solution in high performance, high wrap sunwear.

There are few risks in dispensing an authentic product since the hard issues of frame measurements are known. Two prescriptions are returned to the optician so that lens verification of the reconstructed Rx is easy. Verify the Rx using the reconstructed Rx supplied by the laboratory. Be sure to include the prism. At the compensating prism, dot the PD at the prism values shown and verify the PD. With the prism the PD will be the same as the patient’s.


Oakley True Digital reconstructs the central prescription for the best vision for any wrap angle. Oakley Dual Peripheral Technology ensures sharper peripheral imaging and motion detection, critical for the split second decisions of any athlete. The result is a high wrap prescription sunglass that delivers more than crisp acuity; but a clear periphery and the fluidity of vision across the lens to best meet anything the sport throws at you.

Make authentic wrap prescription sunwear an integral part of every lens solution for any athlete or sports enthusiast that visits your office. Oakley True Digital is a benefit for not only the sports-minded but any patient looking for the best possible optics.