What about Contact Lenses?

Contact lenses are no longer just to improve short or long-sightedness. The modern contacts worn today can be termed a fashion accessory, not just doing their job, but available in a range of colours for those who wish to go brown, or blue, or green.

A very brief History:

The very first mention of contact lenses goes back as far as the early 1500’s. Leonardo da Vinci experimented with contact vision-correction, by getting a man to immerse his face into a bowl of water to read the print beneath it, the water magnifying the print.

Experiments continued through the years. In the early 1800’s Thomas Young developed the basis of what was to be the first proper contact lens, although how to take a mould of the cornea was a major stumbling block. This was overcome in 1884, with the use of the new substance, anaesthetic.

In the early 20th century, lenses were produced from glass but in the main proved to irritate the eye and could only be worn for very short periods. The 1930’s and the invention of plastic saw a major leap forward in contact lens technology.

Corneal lenses were developed in the UK in 1947 and patented in 1948. These allowed the contacts to cover just the cornea, and over the following years new plastics and production techniques have seen the contact lens develop into what it is today.

A lens for all Visions:

As with normal spectacles, to have contact lenses fitted which improve your vision, requires a prescription from a qualified optician. With contacts now available for those who are short or long-sighted, suffer from astigmatism, or other eye disorders, they can be worn by pretty much everyone.

People’s choice of spectacles or contact lenses depends very much on personal circumstances. Some may only require vision improvement to read, watch television, or for driving, and may choose glasses as they can be worn and removed very easily. Others believe spectacles enhance their appearance, while others think their appearance is diminished by spectacles, and choose contacts.

The majority of those who require permanent vision correction, other than sleeping, invariably choose a combination of both, allowing them the advantage of choice.

Types of Contact Lenses:

Choosing lenses is not just about ensuring your vision is the best it can be, other things need to be taken into account. The design of the lens is of major importance to avoid eye irritation. What the lens’ are made of, how long you want to, or have to, wear them in one go, and how many times they can be worn before disposal, all have to be considered.

The usage you require from your lenses, and the cost, will have a bearing on the type of lens offered. The two most popular types are soft lenses, and GP lenses. A third type classified hard lenses, are rarely prescribed these days.

Soft lenses are produced from a gel type plastic called hydrogel, or the more advanced, silicone hydrogel.

GP lenses are produced from a hard waterless plastic, and especially suitable for those suffering astigmatism or long-sightedness.

It’s not that Complicated:

Choosing contact lenses is not a difficult job. Explaining to your optician your needs, and the length of time you want to wear your contacts in one go, should be all that is required.

From then on everything should be explained to you. What they are made of, wearing time, why he recommends one type over another, how to fit them, and the solutions needed to keep them clean and bacteria free.

For further informations, go to see Howard Harris Opticians.

If you hankered after contact lenses years ago, but were told contacts were unsuitable for your eyes – go back for another appraisal. With the advances made in contact lens materials and technology, you may well find you can now join the millions of others whose sight is improved by two tiny pieces of unnoticeable plastic.