Recent lens developments


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Updated: 1/14/2003 1:31 pm Published: 1/14/2003 1:31 pm


Contacts have been around since the 1950s, and they've come a long way since then, in the materials used, in their comfort, and in the kinds of visual conditions they can correct. There are more contact lenses for more purposes today that are safer and better manufactured than ever before. Investment in contact lens research, manufacturing, and marketing is strong. A new, hybrid material for soft lenses with added silicone, known as ""silicone-hydrogel,"" has meant up to six times more oxygen can be delivered to the eye than was previously possible with existing soft lens materials. This means improved tolerance of eye tissues to long hours of contact lens wear and the potential to be able to sleep in these specialized contact lenses. A new soft, disposable bifocal contact lens has been released, with a ""pupil-intelligent"" design. The lens is designed to work in different light levels and comes in a wide range of prescriptions. More versions of disposable soft lenses to correct astigmatism are becoming available for both near-sighted and far-sighted prescriptions. This enables inexpensive contact lens correction of vision, coupled with higher oxygen delivery to the eye than previously possible. At the same time, advanced rigid gas-permeable, or ""RGP"" (R-G-P), designs and manufacturing techniques, such as ""soft toric"" (TOR-ick) lenses, also offer better solutions for astigmatism. One-day, disposable soft lenses are worn for a day, then thrown away. You don't have to worry about cleaning or disinfecting, and they provide convenience and comfort. They're especially good for occasional or part-time wear, such as for sports. New, multi-layered, tinted contact lenses are available to give a more natural appearance. Most people's eyes are a mosaic of colors, and past efforts at changing eye color with contact lenses have often resulted in a slightly artificial or monotone appearance. Now you can alter your eye color with a more natural result.

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