Wrap Prescription Sunglasses – Are You Missing the Boat?


Are you missing the boat on dispensing wrap prescription sunglasses? This is a very important and profitable category but I know that it has been a problem area for some optical retailers and their patients, myself included.

My husband loves his polarized wrap sunglasses but being the typical aging baby boomer he can’t read without his prescription glasses. He wanted wrap prescription sunglasses but he is a 2.50 add progressive wearer these days. He was ecstatic when I told him that he can get Shamir’s Attitude lenses in his favorite sunglass frames (Fathom by Costa del Mar). We had tried to do prescription lenses in these frames before but the distortion made them unwearable even though they are not a full wrap design.

Ron's Autograph Lenses
Ron's Attitude Lenses

Until the development of lenses like Shamir’s Attitude it was impossible or optically challenging to provide wraparound frames without heavily compromising visual acuity. Choosing a base curve that is not optimized for the desired Rx will result in unwanted astigmatism.  Shamir developed Attitude, the first progressive addition lens exclusively designed to provide uncompromising visual acuity in wrap prescription sunglasses.  Using proprietary Eyepoint Technology, the Attitude design employs surface asphericity to compensate for off-center unwanted astigmatism, the characteristics of grinding a Rx ranging from -4.00 to +2.00 in a Base 8 lens with optical performance of Base 3 and 5.

Many people who need prescription eyewear, not just baby boomers, want to wear wrap prescription sunglasses so it is important to know that there are lenses and labs available that can provide a resource for this need. It might seem easier to direct patients to alternative more Rx friendly frames and sometimes this might be the correct approach. However, the wraparound provides great sun protection and for many sports, e.g. skiing, they are the best choice. So it is good to know that you can offer your patients a choice and often fulfull a once impossible request. Your lab is the best resource to find out what is available in certain prescription ranges. There are several lens companies that provide wrap prescription sunglass lenses. So don’t miss the boat on this profitable frame and lens option!

Claire Goldsmith MidPage