Far back in the history of mankind, in 1508, Leonardo da Vinci described and drew the sketch to express his idea of a contact lens. But it was in 1827 that Sir John Hershel, an English astronomer astounded the world with his idea of making a mold of a human eye so that a lens could be made to fit perfectly. Sixty years later in 1887. F.A. Muller, a German glassblower used these ideas to create the world’s first known contact lens.
Contact lenses are full contact optical accessories which rest directly on the cornea to facilitate a better and natural vision than contemporary spectacles. Distortion due to side vision and eye-lens distance is nullified in using contact lenses. With spectacles the eye-lens distance makes the size of the objects appear bigger or smaller than actual depending upon whether you are far sighted or near sighted.
Spectacles or eye glasses block the peripheral vision due to the frame. When you look sideways, upwards or downwards, you are looking outside the perimeter of the lens which makes you look at object without the eye glasses resulting in distorted or blurred vision because you are not looking through the optic zone. This is more so because of the smaller frames in vogue today. When you wear contact lenses, irrespective of which way you look, you are always looking through the optic zone resulting in perfect vision. Contact lenses are immune to scratches and easy breakage. They are also immune to fogging and will give clear vision even on a rainy day.
Contact lenses are basically of two kinds; Soft contact lenses and RGP (rigid gas permeable) contact lenses. Both these kinds of contact lenses can be used to correct all kinds of vision i.e. myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia. Soft lenses are easier to wear and more comfortable while using initially, the reason why they are chosen by more than 80% users. RGP lenses are used only when you need to wear them continuously over a long period of time.
Choosing a contact lens depends upon the outcome of your optical examination by your ophthalmologist. It is always wise to inform him that you wish to use contact lenses and not spectacles, so that the ophthalmologist can test your eyes accordingly and make time to fit your contact lenses. This might be against your ophthalmologist’s preferences, as some of them do not recommend contact lenses unless you ask them especially for a set.
Wearing contact lenses is best suited to some people like sports persons, riders, acrobats etc. because they do not interfere in their professional life. Contact lenses can correct all kinds of vision as referred above. If you are in any of the above professions and prefer to wear glasses, you can wear contact lenses on the job and swap them for spectacles in your leisure time activities.