Definition: Invented over 100 years ago, contact lenses began as pieces of glass worn on the eye to correct an "error in refraction" (blurred vision needing correction for clarity). Today they are made of a variety of plastics for increased comfort and health of the eye.
Narrative: At least 60 million Americans have "errors of refraction" requiring a corrective lense to see clearly at distance or near. Some 23 million of these people wear contact lenses on their eyes to make this correction.
Contact lenses can be divided into several classifications:
By material characteristics: soft (cellophane-like) or rigid (formed flexible plastic).
By wear schedule: Daily Wear or Overnight Wear (also called "Extended Wear", a modality which has fallen into disfavor because of the high incidence of complications).
By life-span of the lens: Disposable (1 day or 2 week), Planned Replacement (1 month, 3 month or 6 month), or Conventional (1 year or 2 year).
By correction modality: Spherical, Toric or Astigmatic, or Bifocal
Today with the ability of laser-guided lathes, it is possible to grind almost any prescription into a piece of plastic worn as a contact lens. The only remaining obstacle to contact lens wear is the person who physically cannot put the lense into the eye.
Contact lenses are also frequently employed in the treatment of corneal diseases and can frequently be applied to the cornea healing from trauma or surgery as a "bandage".
Contact lenses are made in a variety of colors that can either enhance or highlight the natural eye color or radically change the eye color, say from dark brown to light blue or grey! Custom designer contact lenses have been employed for multiple special effects in movies and on television.
Note: The information on this website is not a substitute for professional care. If you are having any problems with your eyes, you should see your ophthalmologist or optometrist for diagnosis and treatment.