With wraparound eyewear increasing in popularity along with manufacturers creating sport and activity specific designs- this wave in the optical industry has prompted rising desire for very wrapped frames to follow around the natural curve of one’s face to keep excess light and debris out of the eyes while providing a contemporary look.
Even though seemingly they are the most cutting edge technology- wrapped glasses aren’t a new item. Their original popularity began in the 1960’s beatnik hip culture. True to form, Hollywood icons were decked out in designs of the time. A prime example is Peter Fonda in the hugely popular classic Easy Rider. There is scarcely a picture in circulation of Fonda in the movie without sporting a pair of Bausch & Lomb Olympians. There is also Clint Eastwood in Dirty Harry. Another Bausch & Lomb Ray-Ban design, the Balorama, was a wardrobe staple for Eastwood’s Dirty Harry Callahan character. Both of those 1960’s designs, the Olympian (RB 3119) and Balorama (RB 4089) are still produced by Ray-Ban parent company Luxottica.
The early days of wrap glasses only allowed for non-prescription or very light prescription lenses. With expanding lab technology, high prescriptions once thought impossible can now be acheived. It’s important to maintain the aesthetic integrity of each frame; therefore manufacturing of the lens with the factory intended front curve is imperative. This can be somewhat difficult for some optical labs with higher prescriptions, especially those on the myopic or near sighted side. Many times a lab will relieve the difficulty by surfacing the lens on a flatter front curve which then decreases the wrap effect dramatically. The end result is a look that differs greatly from the design’s intended look. Whenever possible consumers should insist their prescription is fabricated on the same front curve intended by the eyewear designer and originally allotted by the frame.
Current lab technology and higher lens indices make it possible to craft an RX up to +6.00D for farsighted prescriptions and up to -8.00 (total minus which is sphere plus cylinder) on some nearsighted prescriptions in wrap eyewear.
It should be noted base (front) curve adaptation can be an issue for a small percentage of wearers. Most wrap frames require a lens front curve of 8.00D. Most myopic prescriptions are manufactured on a front curve of 4.00 or less. Since wearers are accustomed to those flatter curves, moving up to an 8.00 front curve will occasionally be an issue on some nearsighted customers. Adaptation can only be determined by trying; there are no set parameters or formula. Some wearers are more sensitive to changes than others.
Have you been told your prescription cannot be manufactured in the frame you desire? Are you hesitant you will not adapt to a wrap RX? Check with your local eyewear provider for their policies for non-adaptation and prescription limits. Some providers will allow the consumer to try their prescription in the frame of their choice at little or no risk. Ask your eyecare professional when you find that perfect frame.