The idea of contact lenses had been introduced by Leonardo da Vinci in 1508, and 300 years later it came into being. Generally, for ages, glasses have been used for palliative use. Now, these shabby glasses are most often replaced by contacts. People wearing glasses always remain afraid for the fact that their spectacles may slip off, get wet or fog up. But these problems do not take place with contact lenses. So, sportsmen often prefer lenses than glasses. Patients who have had cataracts removed choose to use contacts instead of spectacles due to comfort. Moreover, in some cases or for some demanding vision syndromes such as keratoconus and aniseikonia, glasses fail, but these contacts are reported to provide better treatment. Contacts, for their wide viewing angle, give better side vision compared to glasses.
Corrective contact lenses are mainly perfected to give enhanced vision. Many people are seen to have a mismatch between the refractive power of the eye and the length of the eye, giving birth to refraction error, which can be neutralized by wearing a lens because it allows correct focusing of light onto the retina. The punitive functional areas of contacts include myopia or near sightedness, hypermetropia or far sightedness, astigmatism, presbyopia and many other vision problems.
For medical use, there are mainly two types of contact lenses-soft and rigid gas permeable (RPG). Normally, these lenses are made of light plastics and serve as an invisible agent of perfect vision. Hydrophilic plastics which contain water are used to construct a soft contact lens and absorb liquid. It must be kept moist for softness allowing it to be molded to the corneal surface. These types are extremely comfortable for its oxygen transmission aids and are used widely.
The earlier original hard lenses, named PMMAs, did not allow oxygen to pass through and have recently been substituted by the RPGs or rigid gas permeable contacts. This type of lens is made of durable and flexible plastics permitting oxygen to come in contact with the cornea, and it is easy to maintain. People tend to adapt wearing these types of lenses as it is made of stiff material which gives it extended longevity up to one year.
Toric contact lenses are used for sharp acuity. When cornea fails to focus an image onto retina, a visual defect arises and it is known as astigmatism. One, having this type of inability, can produce a blurred image. Toric lenses mainly focus at the rectification of astigmatism and are available in both soft and rigid gas permeable lenses.
People having color blindness are often prescribed a red-tinted X-Chrom contact lens. Though it can not restore normal color vision, it helps them to determine colors better to some extent.
Today, there are 87 million contact lens wearers worldwide. Though therapeutic use is more, but some use it only as a style statement. Apart from the different aspects of those critical vision problems, contact lenses made of special agents, can protect your eyes from harmful UV radiation.
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