By Dr. Cynthia Payne

Leonardo da Vinci imagined and created the concept of a contact lens in 1508. But it wasn’t until 1887 that the first contact lens was actually produced from glass, and it was very uncomfortable. The first plastic contact lens, created in 1939, fit the entire eye, but subsequently was designed to fit only on the cornea. Soft contact lenses and rigid gas-permeable lenses were introduced in the 1970s. Disposable soft contact lenses were introduced in 1987, and the one-day disposable soft contacts and a disposable multifocal contact lens were available in 1996. A new category of contact lens material was created in 2002 with the introduction of the silicone hydrogel lens to the market. Most disposable lenses prescribed and dispensed today are made of some type of silicone hydrogel because it allows more oxygen to the cornea, doesn’t get as dry, and stays cleaner than the previous soft contact lens materials.

contact lensAs eyes age, the lens inside the eye becomes less flexible, and somewhere between the age of 40 to 45 years old, unable to focus on smaller items close to eye. This is the time many use reading eyeglasses, bifocals or multifocals, depending on vision requirements. Meeting these new vision requirements also requires a change in contact lens options. One can continue to wear single-vision contact lenses to correct the distance vision fully, and use reading eyeglasses over the contact lenses to see near. One can transition into a monovision scenario where one eye is fully corrected with a single-vision contact lens for best distance vision, and the other eye is under-corrected for distance with a single-vision contact lens to improve near vision. The brain has to learn to pay more attention to the eye that has the clearest vision for the distance trying to see. Traditionally, about 80 percent of people that try monovision adapt and it provides very functional vision for them. The disadvantage is the decrease in the ability to judge distances (depth perception).

bauschBausch + Lomb introduced the first disposable multifocal contact lens in 1996 and just released the newest disposable multifocal contact lens on the market, the Bausch + Lomb Ultra Contact Lenses for Presbyopia. The Bausch + Lomb Ultra single-vision contact lens was introduced in 2014 and represented a significant contact lens material advancement in the silicone hydrogel category. This material allows even more oxygen to the cornea, is better for dryness, and, with a softer structure and thinner edge design, is more comfortable. The optic design also allows better vision in low light situations. The Bausch + Lomb Ultra for Presbyopia contact lens has a new multifocal design that not only provides improved distance and near vision, but also better intermediate vision for things like computers, cell phones and car dashboards. The Bausch + Lomb Ultra and Ultra Contact Lens for Presbyopia is a daily wear, monthly disposable contact lens.

Don’t forget to protect eyes with sunglasses. Sunglasses with full UV coverage protect the eyelids, the eye and surrounding skin from sun damage, and decrease risk of skin cancer. When wearing contact lenses, sunglasses also help block the wind and debris from eyes. This helps reduce dry contact lenses and increases comfort. Trendsetter Eyewear’s optical boutique has a large selection of designer sunglasses in the latest fashion that will protect eyes and contact lenses.

Cynthia PayneDr. Cynthia Payne provides comprehensive eye exams and contact lens exams at Trendsetter Eyewear. She can help determine if contact lenses are a safe option for your eyes, and choose the best contact lens option for you based on your prescription and visual needs. Call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Payne at Trendsetter Eyewear, 702.479.5222, or schedule your eye exam appointment online at