The ins and outs of Contact Lenses

allabouteyesoptical By allabouteyesoptical, 4th Nov 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Health>General Health>Eyes & Vision

Ever wonder how exactly contact lenses work? Wonder what those plus and minus signs on the box of your lenses are for? Curious how this technology came to be? Let’s explore all that and more, and discover the ins and outs of contact lenses

Contact Lenses: A brief history

Long before the current silicone lenses we have now, there was an idea. An idea believed to have been first introduced by none other than Leonardo da Vinci. Da Vinci’s contact lens was nothing more than a design and idea however, and it was not until 1801 that the first contact lens went from idea to reality. A scientist named Thomas Young created the first functional contact lens, a lens that was attached to the eye with wax! Needless to say this iteration of the contact lens is nothing but a thing of the past.

Today, we enjoy a much more comfortable, and much more advanced contact lens. They come in a host of materials, and serve a slew of functions catered to provide the perfect remedy for each and every individual patient. In addition to this, each and every contact has what is called a “wear schedule.” Contact lenses are either daily wear, extended wear, or continuous wear. Daily wear lenses are designed to be worn for a day and removed before going to bed. Extended wear lenses are made to be worn overnight, typically for roughly a week in length. The final type is continuous wear, which are lenses made to be worn constantly for up to 30 days! Breakthroughs such as this are made possible thanks to advancements in technology allowing greater oxygen permeability in the lens. To simplify, this just means that oxygen is easily able to flow through the lens, keeping your eyes hydrated day in and day out.

Although most people associate contact lenses with correcting vision, this is not always the case. There is a large market for purely cosmetic contact lenses, for people who just want to change their eye color. Getting tired of brown eyes? Pick up a pair of non-prescription, or plano lenses and change your look to whatever you want. Halloween coming up? You can add that finishing touch to your costume with some truly spooky contact lenses, such as black sclera contacts which turn your entire eye black!

But what exactly do Contact Lenses do?

Long story short, contacts function very closely to the way that traditional eye glasses do. That is, they refract and refocus light so that what you see appears more clearly. The obvious clear distinction is how they are worn. Contact lenses sit on the tear film layer of your cornea, floating and moving in concert with your natural eye movements. Subtle changes in the shape of the lens can also create different effects, remedying a vast range of different problems. Notice those plus and minus signs on the side of your box? Those are the diopter of the lens, a way of measuring strength that is directly tied to the shape of the lens. Different diopter’s help in correcting different issues, such as farsightedness and astigmatism.

Want to know more about Contact lenses? Book an appointment with your local Optometrist and see if Contacts are a perfect fit for you!


Contact Lenses, Eye Care, Eyeglasses, Optometry

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
5th Nov 2015 (#)

Thanks for this well explained post.

One has to take care as the eye is perhaps the most sensitive of our organs. I have heard of some not able to take proper care in handling contact lenses and suffering permanent injury - siva

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