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Approved for Ohio Credit by the Ohio Optical Dispensers Board

High Peformance Wrap Sunwear Made Easy -
Boost Sales of an Untapped Market, Part 1

By Mark Mattison-Shupnick, ABOM, FNAO

Release Date: July 2007 Expiration Date: July 31, 2010

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

  1. Understand the opportunity for incremental profit by adding a wrap Rx program to any ECP’s office.
  2. Learn the 10 key elements that ensure successful fitting and dispensing of sports and wrap eyewear.
  3. Understand the technology needed to implement a program of personalized wrap prescription eyewear.

Faculty/Editorial Board:
Mark Mattison ShupnickMark Mattison-Shupnick, ABOM, FNAO is currently director of education and training, program development for Jobson Information Services LLC, has more than 35 years of experience as an optician, was senior staff member of SOLA International and is a frequent lecturer and trainer.

Credit Statement:

This course is approved for one (1) hour of CE credit by the American Board of Opticianry (ABO). Course #: STJP096-1 Please check with your state licensing board to see if this approval counts toward your CE requirement for relicensure.

This course is supported by an unrestricted educational grant from RUDY PROJECT - Technically Cool Eyewear.
Rudy Project

Wrap prescription sunwear made right, is a real market opportunity. In fact, ask any dispenser that has implemented an Rx program to make wrap right and you’ll find that they have increased their sunglass business, improved profits and made the second pair sale a daily reality.

Include interchangeable lenses for improved lens and frame functionality and five axis digital lens edging for making an increased variety of frame styles Rxable. The result is a new kind of personalization in wrap prescription eyewear. It allows you to create the highest performance sport-fashion eyewear that’s ideal for the toughest competition or just hanging out.

The key is to add to your sunglass offering, a high-performance sports eye-wear collection that already includes lenses and prescription lab services that understand wrap. Patients will see that you’ve got it all wrapped up.

Assuming that you’ve chosen a well-designed collection, three technologies must be correct for personalized prescription wrap eyewear to be right. They are 1. Prescription Optimization i.e., correctly compensated lenses for prescription accuracy, 2. Five Axis Digital Edging, to create a cosmetically and secure fit for virtually any frame and 3. Interchangeability of lenses i.e., lenses that can be changed quickly and easily so the glasses are perfect for everything from overcast to the brightest of light conditions.

Optimization for Rx Accuracy
Compensate the Rx for tilt, wrap and vertex, add the prism required for good binocularity and the lens will deliver vision as it was intended.

Five Axis Digital Edging
Finish the lens using digital edging to produce a specially contoured edge so virtually any frames can be used. This allows the right design for style and functionality by sport or activity.

Interchangeable Lenses
Specially contoured edging uniquely allows lenses to be easily swapped by the patient so you can offer a versatile, interchangeable eyewear delivery system. Patients can add lenses on a regular basis to extend the utility of their glasses while increasing your practice profits. Choose the right lens color, transmission, coatings and base curves that are appropriate for the activity and frame.

The Rudy Project Authentic Sun Rx Program combines these digital sciences and technologies, in a new product system for dispensers, so every optical office can deliver personalized wrap eyewear. This three-part course details the way interchangeable prescription wrap eyewear can be personalized and optimized for patients to make a difference in patient satisfaction and profitability for any office.

Everyone has a unique need for his or her sunwear. If you make the high-performance frame and lens characteristics of wrap eyewear required by athletes available to everyone, it improves the performance of all sunwear. Add the opportunity for interchangeable lenses and you can provide clear to multiple colors with the style, high-performance and protection advantages unique to wrap eyewear. You know that consumers want wrap eyewear because of style, color and an image of performance. So, with the right collection and the ability to deliver a truly personalized product, it’s fun, differentiable and they’re easier to sell.

Personalizing prescription wrap eyewear is an easily learned science. Deliver the following 10 key elements and when completed, they ensure success. They are:
1. Choose a frame collection with their own lens and lab program
Meet any sports or wearers’ wants and requirements for looks, identity and functionality.
2. Be sure the Rx and lens is possible
Confirm that the Rx, fitting requirements and PD as well as lens style are available in a high-base curve for the frame chosen.
3. Guarantee binocularity
Ensure one image for both eyes. Add the right amount of prism to correct for the wrap effects.
4. Deliver crisp and clear central vision
Deliver the right Rx for any wrap angle, tilt and vertex by compensating the prescription. Also, use high-contrast lenses of correct transmission for the best performance.
5. Deliver a wider usable field of view
Choose the right eyesize for better overall vision and fastest reaction times.
6. Use sports specific shapes Meet the performance challenge with the right shape lens.
7. Use the right protective lens Deliver complete UV radiation and impact protection for sports and everyday lens wear.
8. Create a close and tilt adjustable fit A closer fit ensures an improved overall field-of-view and increased safety for minimized light leakage and discomfort.
9. Fit the nose for comfort and stability
Well-fit and well-positioned nose pads, locked in place, better support the frame in all conditions.
10. Fit the ear for a secure and snug no-slip fit
Use adjustable temples of the right materials.


Wrap sunglasses are sleek, colorful, identifiable, functional and fashionable. They add a new dimension to any optical office. So, choose a complete wrap program i.e., available in the hottest styles, are Rx-able and can be delivered complete to the patient without the problems previously associated with wraps.

Style is a critical factor. Make sure the collection has metals, plastics and combinations in the colors, shapes and looks that are in demand. Don’t disappoint patients with styles that look great as planos but cannot be Rx-ed. That’s the problems that they have now. To differentiate the practice, be able to say, “virtually all these sunglasses can be made in your prescription.”

Be able to offer prescriptions in the same range of sports-specific lens colors, spectral absorptions, lens styles and materials that they see in the showcase. Lastly, have confidence the completed jobs will work optically and the lenses fit securely in all frames with easy snap in interchangeability where available.

Two ways to add prescriptions are available. First, most patients will prefer prescription lenses added directly to their frames. Second, an Rx adapter or clip is also available as an option. When adding the Rx directly to the frame, the frame eyesize, DBL, horizontal Rx power and PD determine the visible edge thickness and therefore the final lens size possible. There are three lens sizes available for most interchangeable Rudy Project Authentic SunRx Program frames.


As a rule, the prescription limit is -5.00D and +4.00D in the horizontal meridian. Decentration for PD also adds to thickness considerations; narrower PDs add edge thickness in minus and nasal thickness in plus lenses, so a clever way to manage thickness is to reduce eyesize. The inter-relationship of shape, size, PD, lens style, lens blank size and prescription has been considered and limit tables created to make ordering easy.

For example, the following table shows how to quickly check if a -3.50 power progressive and a 64mm PD is possible in a Rudy Project Rydon frame while the patient is still present. In this example, a 63 or 67mm lens can be done for both progressive styles. Using the tables created for the Rudy Project Rx Direct Interchangeable lenses before the patient leaves the office demonstrates professional knowledge, avoids the call from the lab that the job cannot be done as ordered and adds to the patient’s confidence that these sunglasses will be everything they have wanted.

If the full lens size is not possible consider the option of using an Rx insert.


Rx inserts snap in and out easily and fit closely behind the frame’s plano lens. In this way, virtually any Rx is possible. Order polycarbonate and add AR to the insert lenses to reduce thickness and reflections between surfaces as well as ensure protection. Six base lenses are recommended to match back lens shape and insert shape.

To guarantee binocularity, lenses must be prism compensated. Lenses wrapped or tilted around the vertical axis of the lens create prism. This is not a problem in standard frames where lenses have mild face form curve. For wrap frames, an average wrap angle of 18 to 20 degrees always creates enough base out (BO) prism to make a wearer uncomfortable. When worn, this amount of prism (0.2 to 0.7 diopters of base out prism) makes the eyes cross (images move towards the prism apex) and requires the wearer to hold their eyes in that position for good binocular vision. The result is fatigue, discomfort and returned eyewear. To ensure binocularity, this prism needs to be eliminated for the patient.


For example, a -2.50D sphere lens wrapped 20 degrees creates 0.3 prism diopter base out for the wearer; a +2.00D sphere induces about 0.5 prism diopter BO. If not compensated, the result would be an uncomfortable or more likely an unwearable pair of glasses.

All Rudy Project plano lenses are RP D-centered so that the wearer experiences no prism through the lenses when wrapped. The optical axis is coincident with axis of vision, permitting maximum utilization of wrapped eight base lenses, respecting the need for comfort and visual clarity. The lenses compensate for the prism created and ensure comfort and binocularity.

Just as prism is induced when lenses are wrapped, power also changes. The Rudy Rx Program considers wrap angle and delivers the prescription prescribed in the way that the lens is being worn. In special cases, tilt and vertex are considered for the perfect fit. The results are lenses personalized for the wearer.

The Rudy Project lab automatically compensates the prescription for the frame fit and PD and adjusts the prism. The lenses are returned by the lab with two prescriptions for review. The first is the Rx prescribed by the doctor, the second is the Rx as it will read on a lensmeter. In fact, if the Rx is read on an automated lensmeter as if it were being worn by the wearer, the Rx will be the same as the doctor’s prescription.


Color Choose colors for looks and performance. The color is an indication of filtering ability, contrast, color, target and/or background enhancement. For golf and tennis, brown, green and red provide optimum vision.

Light Transmission Different outdoor sports and activities require different transmission. Cycling on an overcast morning that changes to bright sun, requires interchangeable lenses or photochromics allow that option without having to change glasses. For example, a golf/tennis lens with 25 percent transmission considers that grass reflects lower amounts of incident light vs. snow or ice where up to 80 percent of the light hitting it is reflected. Discuss the main eyewear need and adjust the transmission accordingly.

Polarization Polar 3FX—Polarization is critical for comfort, safety and the elimination of blinding glare. It eliminates scatter and the intense and random horizontal reflections where vision can be compromised at critical times affecting any athlete’s performance. Combine polarized lenses in high-performance colors for water sports and baseball; discuss personal preferences with golfers and skiers.


Vision is always enhanced when AR lenses are used. In the case of sun and sports lenses where back surface reflections are more visible on a dark lens background and more magnified because of the concave surface effect, AR helps to reduce the visibility of reflections.

An 8 diopter curve is required to match the shape of the frame. Other bases that are correct for the prescription can cause the frame to be misshapen. However, use of the wrong base curve for the prescription changes the peripheral vision of the wearer. So the solution is to use specially designed eight base lenses when possible. For example, KbCo produces a variety of eight base SV lens blanks with different amounts of front surface asphericity. The correct lens blank is chosen based on the prescription ordered and the result is peripheral optics that is designed for the different curvature and the extreme angle of wrap.

To help with peripheral vision in wrap lenses some good rules of thumb are: 1. The Rudy Project lab will choose the correct curves to use. 2. For Rx lenses, use eight base lenses to match the frame shape and 3. When possible, use lenses whose peripheral design has been compensated for wrap. KbCo Wrap Solutions SV and EOS progressives, Shamir Attitude in Genesis or Piccolo as well as spherical design progressives like Younger Image are examples of lenses commonly used in wrap.

Why choose only one color or filter? Prescription lenses can be easily swapped for the best lens color, filtering properties and transmission for the task in a system that now makes multiple lenses for one frame possible. A convenient snap fit using five axis digital edging, contours a notch and shelf bevel along the top edge of the lens to match the insert and attachment contours of the frame. More than just decorative, these are functional and allow the athlete a quick-change lens system for the best vision and protection.


High-performance vision requires a crisp panoramic field-of-view. This lets the athlete see more for the best reaction times and improved sun and glare protection. Small frames have taught most wearers that there are severe limitations when frames get too small. As sunglasses they provide inadequate coverage and poorer protection. Wrap frames provide vision without obstructions.

A plano or prescription field without obstructions delivers a uniformity of image size and shape. When images in the field-of-view do not vary in image size, the athlete can better distinguish object movement, timing and coordinate their own movements to match the speed or body position needed. Wrap eye-wear can improve performance while driving, cycling and motorcycling and at all sports that require a clear complete field of view.

Lens shapes that hug the cheeks, fit the face and provide the most coverage always do a better job than an overly giant sunglass. When lenses are closer to the eye, the field-of-view on the other side is larger.

Uniquely, a wrap frame provides the best coverage for the eyes. Dust and wind are excluded and that’s why frames and lenses that best match the orbit, cheek structure and brow line are preferred at speed. In-line skating or riding a bicycle downhill at 35 or more miles per hour can easily make the eyes tear. Covering the eye with a well-fitted wrap sunglass keeps the eyes clear and prevents the blur of tears and potential accidents from an unseen obstacle.

Using modifiable sizes and shapes to accommodate the variety of prescriptions and edge thicknesses is a novel approach that ensures the greatest variety of Rxs can be accommodated for sport-specific fitting. For mountaineering use a tight fit with little light leak, for cycling, good wind exclusion, for heat and moisture, lens ventilation, etc. We’ll cover more about sport-specific shapes, lens choices, colors and absorption in parts two and three.


Outdoor sports require the right protection for the eye and the surrounding lids, cheeks and orbit. Polycarbonate is the best overall lens material to deliver these benefits because it combines the absorption and impact requirements in the variety of lens styles needed, all with good value.

Radiation Active outdoor lifestyles increase the risk of cataracts and sunburn. All polycarbonate lenses, including clear lenses, absorb 100 percent UVA and UVB. Blue light produces scatter and lenses that absorb blue light enhance contrast while softening the harshness of excess light. In addition, there is evidence that blue light, accumulated over a lifetime, contributes to macular degeneration. Lenses in colors of brown, green, yellow, orange and red attenuate blue light.

Impact Polycarbonate is highly impact resistant and required for the situations that high-performance sports require. In that way, all wearers are prepared for everyday occurrences. In addition, SV and progressives are readily available to fill the majority of all prescriptions received. Impact X NXT is a new material with exceptional impact resistance, will not stress or star crack if drilled and is unaffected by acetone. Its lightweight (1.11g/cm3) and low dispersion (45 Abbe) will improve comfort and reduce the peripheral blur in higher-powered lenses. Currently in plano, it will soon be available in prescription.'

A closer fit ensures an improved overall field-of-view and increased safety for minimized light leak and discomfort. Describe to patients how important this feature is—a close and properly tilted frame reduces any light leak from the top and sides that can disrupt vision at critical moments.

In the sun, reduce light leak, in the rain, snow and wind, keep the eyes protected and in fog, enhance contrast. For those steamy events or environments when a close fit is required but lenses may fog, look for a venting system like the Rydon frame that manages airflow to the eye.


Well-fit and well-positioned nose pads, locked in place, better support the frame in all conditions an athlete experiences. Pad arms and pad construction is key. Be sure the pad arms are easily adjustable and flexible enough to get just the right fit. Materials like copper beryllium, titanium, co-injected thermoplastics with alloy cores provide lasting adjustability and recovery when accidentally bent way out of shape.

Use a variety of pads and pad shapes so that the right fit is achieved. Silicon pads are an advantage for two reasons; they won’t slip and are soft and flexible for comfort. Specially designed to be hypoallergenic, rubber (Megol from Rudy Project) nose pads also provide high elasticity for maximum comfort.


The three-point fit that is needed to balance and securely hold any eyewear relies on the nose and the amount of skin the temples touch behind each of the ears. To be comfortable, temple ends need to be correctly shaped to work with sports’ equipment, like a bicycle helmet. Flat temples work better with helmet straps and are more easily adjusted to head shape. Materials like Megol are flexible over a full 360 degrees and ensure a no-slip fit. In addition, the materials must be hypo-allergenic to avoid the corrosion and irritation that may come from sweat.


Begin doing Rx wrap sunwear using the right supplier with an Rx program to create personalized wrap prescription eyewear. Always, use product from experts.

The Rudy Project Authentic Sun Rx Program makes it easy. Follow the procedure for Rx Direct Interchangeable and Rx Direct lenses and you will receive eight base compatible prescription lenses that are compensated for prism, tilt and vertex, and curve changes. Confirm the size and shape are available based on PD, prescription and lens style. Choose material, design, color, polarization, mirror and AR that is required. The lab will create the compensated prescription and digitally edge the lenses for the frame and return the completed eye-wear to you. The compensated Rx will be detailed as well as the prescribed Rx.

Wrap prescription sunwear made right, is a real market opportunity. Doctors and dispensers that have implemented wrap prescription programs from the best suppliers have increased their sunglass business, improved profits and improved on non-vision care and second pair sales. Add the dimension of personalization, improved lens functionality, interchangeability and deliver five axis digital edging technology to create the highest performance, interchangeable eyewear for any kind of athlete. Begin doing Rx wrap sunwear using the right supplier with an Rx program to create personalized wrap prescription eyewear. Contact an expert today.