Contact Lenses – How They Are Made

Contact lenses, also known as regular lenses, are thin, rigid lenses usually placed directly on the cornea of your eye. Contact lenses have been used since at least the 1930s, but their basic design has only changed significantly over time. Currently, contact lenses are the leading ocular prosthetics used by more than 150 million individuals worldwide, and they are worn as a cosmetic or corrective device for a variety of reasons or for vision improvement.


The primary mechanism that allows for extended wearing time is through the use of an adaptor. The adaptor is a plastic ring or piece of material that fits around your eye and moves it into a slightly different location as your eye grows. This small difference in the location of the adaptor is designed to accommodate your eye as it expands and contracts during its daily function. When you first receive your prescription for soft contact lenses, you will be given an estimate of how long it will take you to wear the recommended number of contacts.

Wearing contact lenses all day is not always comfortable, especially for individuals that are extremely mobile or have very active lifestyles. Many individuals report that the act of wearing contacts every day requires a certain amount of willpower and strength in order to keep the contacts in place for the full specified period of time. Contacts also require that you have appropriate vision to be able to tolerate the effects of contacts in order to be comfortable. Vision loss may be an issue for some individuals if they are suffering from presbyopia and require the use of corrective lenses. Vision loss is also a concern for those that have astigmatism.


If you wear regular glasses, you may be advised by your optometrist to switch to contact lenses rather than wearing eyeglasses. If you wear eyeglasses, you can also benefit from having contact lenses as you will no longer be required to purchase and carry around an eye examination chart. Contacts are also much more convenient than eyeglasses for people that suffer from dry eyes, because the lenses can provide moisture to the dry eyes and prevent the dry eyes from providing a barrier to vision.

Some of the reasons why a patient would choose to wear contact lenses rather than eyeglasses can include having a lazy eye, short attention span or a lack of motivation to wear glasses. People that wear eyeglasses need to be reminded on a regular basis to look at their eyeglasses and clean them on a regular basis. As part of presbyopia prevention, the patient will be taught to readjust their gaze in order to eliminate focusing outside of the main focal area of the eye. If a person’s vision is deteriorating, an optometrist may recommend that a patient begin wearing contact lenses rather than wearing eyeglasses.

Soft lenses are usually made out of a rigid gas permeable material called silicone hydrogel. Silicone hydrogel is considered to be less harmful to the eye than other materials that are used to manufacture contact lenses. Rigid lenses are able to contain more oxygen and allow more oxygen to pass through the cornea. This allows a greater amount of oxygen to reach the eye at any given time.

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