Contact lenses are a relatively new development on the eyewear scene; while eyeglasses were probably invented in the 13th century, contact lenses have only been around for about 100 years. A thin disc of plastic, they are placed directly on the eyeball. Because they sit directly on the eyeball, peripheral vision is not obstructed -- this makes them a good choice for athletes, who must also worry about losing eyeglasses during play.
Contact lenses can correct the same vision problems as eyeglasses. The differences have to do with how long they can be worn, how often they must be thrown away and the design of the lens. Soft lenses are made of a plastic called a hydrogel, which is soft and contains water. GP lenses are rigid plastic and may provide sharper vision. Hard lenses are similar to GP lenses but are rarely prescribed today. Some lenses must be removed at night, while others can be worn up to seven days. Disposal times vary from one day to six months or longer.
One of the great advantages of contact lenses is that they are not subject to environmental considerations. For example, glasses can fog up in cold or rain. In very hot weather, glasses may collect sweat that drips off the wearer's face and forehead. Contacts are also available in different colors, should the wearer want to temporarily change eye color. However, both correct vision problems.
With the number of options currently available, most people can wear contact lenses. The primary issues are correction and fit. The contacts must be able to correct or solve the problem that brought the patient to wear glasses or lenses. Second, the contact lenses must fit the eye. Luckily, there are so many possible combinations of lens diameter and curvature that there is nearly always a solution to fit the patient's eye.
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