A contact lens is a thin, curved lens placed on the film of tears that covers the surface of your eye. The lens itself is naturally clear, but is often given the slightest tinge of color to make them easier for wearers to handle. Today’s contact lenses are either hard or soft. Most people wear the latter form now, but it wasn’t too long ago that contact lenses were even glass blown!
A brief history of the contact lens
While contact lenses may seem to be a modern addition to eye care, they actually have a long and illustrious history, kick-started by none other than Leonardo da Vinci and Rene Descartes. It wasn’t until the late 19th century, however, that a German glassblower produced a lens that could be seen through and reasonably tolerated, and a German ophthalmologist came up with and fitted the first contact lens, which could be worn for a few hours at a time.
All contact lenses, however, are medical devices, regulated by the U.S. FDA. Prescription contact lenses and cosmetic contact lenses all require a prescription. This is because even common complications such as infection and inflammation might lead to vision loss or blindness.