By Troy Patterson

Sports lens technology doesn’t have to be confined to only sports frames.

Plastic Plus’s Vandelay Single Vision Freeform lenses are suitable for sports and can be put on large wrap frames like those used in golfing, snowboarding and basketball. But they’re also suitable for hiking or while at work.

“They’ll adapt to any frame very well without losing any of the optical advantages,” says Jason Faibish, Plastic Plus’ vice-president.

The lenses have a wider visual field and higher definition than standard lenses and eliminate aberitions included by tilt or curvature of lenses.

The freeform lens wraps so the curve doesn’t affect the range of sight, where a lot of competing products can distort the image. Patients with a high prescription can have their lens ground down to a flatter, thinner base, with a much wider visual field, says Faibish.
“With a conventional progressive lens, it fits the progressive into the conventional lens as opposed to a freeform that’s tailored to that person’s exact prescription,” he says.

Essilor Canada says when it comes to sports, polycarbonate lenses offer the best shock protection and are a must, while polarized lenses enhance comfort and precision of vision by eliminating reflected glare.

They also recommend finding lenses that protect against ultra-violet and blue light as well as coatings to protect against fog, glare, scratches, smudges, dust and water.

Essilor has many products that are ideal for athletes.

Airwear Polycarbonate Lenses offer protection, comfort and great optical performance. The lenses are virtually unbreakable, providing the durability and strength that wearers seek and are 12 times more impact-resistant than standard plastic. Airwear clear and tinted lenses also provide 100% protection against harmful UVA and UVB.

Varilux and Single-Vision Stylistic Wrap in clear as well as Xperio and Physiotints offer excellent panoramic vision and protection. The lenses boast a wide range of base curves to fit wrap sports frames and use W.A.V.E. 2.0 Technology to reduce high order aberrations. They also provide improved contrasts in all light conditions.

Xperio polarized sun lenses, meanwhile, fully eliminate blinding glare for greater visual comfort and security, offer crisper and truer colour perception for unmatched clarity of vision and are available in a wide range of prescriptions including high wraps and plano lenses. They also block at least 87% of harmful blue light without any selectivity.

Also, Crizal Sun coatings provide an E-SPF 50 index which certifies that the wearers’ eyes are at least 50 times better protected than without any lenses. The Broad Spectrum technology anti-reflective layer is added to the back side of the lens and prevents backside UV rays from being reflected into the eyes.

Crizal with Optifog lenses repel fog and also reduce glare, repel dust, protect against UV and are scratch resistant.

Transitions’ Oakley brand has a series of adaptive sunglasses designed especially for runners, bikers and other athletes who spend long periods of time outdoors.

They start out almost clear and change tints based on changing light conditions. Their lightweight sport frame and the clarity of Oakley’s high-definition optics provide both protection and convenience for athletes interested in safeguarding their assets.

Patience Cook, Transition’s director of North America marketing, says athletes can also choose a variety of everyday lenses that can provide benefits during sports.

“Transitions lenses are a great option for those individuals that want more than what a clear lens can offer,” she says.

“The right lens can help to improve an individual’s vision during sports and, potentially, their overall performance.”

Transitions Vantage lenses are for patients who spend a lot of time outdoors and want vibrant outdoor vision, including during sports that bring them near or on the water. These are the first and only lenses that are virtually clear indoors and darken and polarize outdoors, for sharp vision even the brightest glare.

Transitions XTRActive lenses are designed for athletes who spend extended periods of time outdoors and want extra protection from light. The darkest of the lens family, they’re uniquely designed for extra protection from light and eye comfort in glaring and hot climate conditions.

Hoya’s Array Wrap lenses are designed for people who want the most coverage with the glasses they use for both outdoor activities and sports.

They come in both clear and a sun option – an obviously popular choice amongst athletes and for active outdoor enthusiasts looking for UV protection and the tighter fit of wrap frames.

“Hoya has what it takes to cater to the most sophisticated visual needs of today’s athletes,” says Ahmos Henry, president of Hoya Vision Care Canada. “This leading-edge impact-resistant performance material (Phoenix) and the unique “Array” lens design, offers unparalleled versatility offered in a wrap design for a wide variety of available materials.”

Array wrap lenses contour to the head to cover a patient’s vision, making them the optimal choice for athletes, sports enthusiasts and other active wearers. Since Array Wrap has a higher base curve, it’s more suitable for wraparound frames that protect the eyes, providing the wearer with better defense from the elements. They can also fit snuggly to athlete’s heads, making them a better fit for eyeglass wearers who are active.

The Rudy Project, meanwhile, has introduced an ‘all-in-one’ prescription sport dispensing kit to service the growing healthy lifestyle market.

The kit includes Rudy Project’s sport sunglass frames with compatible optical docks and optical inserts that can be edged in office to meet the needs of athlete patients and weekend warriors.

Most of the sunglasses included in the Prescription Sport Dispensing Kit can also accommodate direct interchangeable prescription sport lenses. The kit includes Rudy Project’s best-selling Rydon frame, along a number of others.

“Rudy Project has so many great sport prescription options for ECPs that we wanted to make them all available in a simple, affordable, easy-to-use kit,” says Sara Riding, Optical Sales Lead. “The Prescription Sport Dispensing Kit includes the tools busy ECP’s need to create sport Rx solutions using ALL of these options.”

Rudy Project’s sport prescription program uses optical adapters, direct clips, and Rx inserts that make it possible for eyecare providers to craft a custom sport Rx solution for customers looking for the versatility of sport eyewear, without compromising on vision and function.