Contact lenses—now, and then

Published:August 19, 2004DOI:
      Ten years ago the late Irving Fatt wrote an editorial in this journal entitled “What Will Be The State Of The Art In Contact Lenses At The End Of The 20th Century And In The Second Millennium?” [
      • Fatt I.
      What will be the state of the art in contact lenses at the end of the 20th century and in the second millennium.
      ]. It has been interesting to look back at his musings a decade later. The article opened with the question “Can we guess from today’s contact lens, what kind of lenses will be dispensed to patients at the threshold of the new millennium and perhaps even a few years later.” Among the many changes that have taken place in the world of contact lenses during the past decade is the availability of the silicone hydrogel lens; a move toward longer wearing time with some silicone hydrogel and hyper-Dk GP lenses being prescribed for continuous wear up to 29 nights; advances and renewed interest in orthokeratology; the phasing out of reference to “rigid gas-permeable” (RGP) lenses in favor of the gentler term “gas-permeable” (GP) lenses; the number of major contact lens manufacturers decreased thorough acquisitions; the GP lens market steadily shrinking in deference to the soft lens; the promise of improving vision with contact lenses that correct wavefront aberrations of the eye; more choices of disposable lenses designed for presbyopic correction, expanding our opportunities to better serve our more mature patients; the Journal of the British Contact Lens Association having a name change to Contact Lens and Anterior Eye, and later incorporating the respected International Contact Lens Clinic journal.
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        • Fatt I.
        What will be the state of the art in contact lenses at the end of the 20th century and in the second millennium.
        J. Br. Contact Lens Assoc. 1994; 17: 3-5
        • Snyder C.
        Two steps forward, one step back.
        Int. Contact Lens Clin. 2000; 27: 155