Special Effects Lenses

Special effect lens wearers tend to be a different breed altogether.These are often the extroverts looking for an audience. Performers, such as actors or musicians, during a show are a good example. One actor I knew used to wear what he called his “Dracula eyes” out on the street before a performance with his amateur theatre group. This both to got him into character and advertised the group’s performance of Bram Stoker’s classic that night.

Aside from performers, another very specific group has adopted special effect lenses with a passion: Clubbers. Those into the Industrial and club scenes often wear the more theatrical lenses as a way of showing off their individuality.

This is where the really “out there” lenses are found, with unusual eye colors like red, black or mirrored being just the beginning. Patterned lenses are often found with this group as well. A patterned lens is one that has an image drawn into the iris area and/or superimposed over the pupil. Cat’s eye lenses are one good example, but you can expect to find just about anything from black widow spiders to star-and-moon combinations, all done in perfect detail and designed not to restrict normal vision or distort the prescription of the lens wearer. More information about special effect lenses can be found at Special Effect Contact Lenses.

A couple really of startling effects to watch for are glow-in-the-dark and U.V. lenses. Glow-in-the-dark is exactly like those spooky toys you had as a kid. The lenses absorb light and then emit it later in darkness with a soft, lemony or greenish glow. U.V. lenses are made of a form of plastic that fluoresces different colors under ultra violet light (also called black light). (Imagine running into that one on a crowded dance floor!)…

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Contact Lens History

There are a number of reasons for choosing to color your eyes with contact lenses. Before we go any further into the “why” of the subject, let’s look at the “what”. First of all, what is a contact lens? This may seem like a no-brainer, but have you ever stopped to consider what contacts are and how they might affect you?

Modern contacts are safe and comfortable to use, but it wasn’t always this way. Here’s an abbreviated time line based on information provided by the Contact Lens Council:


1508 – Contact lenses were first conceived by the Italian inventor Leonardo DaVinci. They were one of many invention ideas he developed sketches and descriptions of.

1632 – Rene Descartes of France suggested the idea corneal contact lens, a lens designed to be placed within the eye.

1827 – English astronomer Sir John Herschel (Side note: This is the same man who discovered the planet Uranus, which was originally named after him) suggested grinding a glass contact lens to conform exactly to the eye’s surface.

1877 – Glassblower F.E. Muller of Wiesbaden, Germany, developed this idea into reality and produced the first glass eye covering designed to be seen through and tolerated. This would be the first hard contact lens in history. Let it also be noted that this type of lens was somewhat uncomfortable and could cause eye redness and excessive tear production.

The twentieth century saw the full refinement of the contact lenses that we enjoy today. Many modern day manufacturing techniques and man-made products (such as plastics and silicone) go towards making contacts that the body can easily tolerate and which are much more comfortable to wear for extended periods.

1929 – Joseph Dallos, a Hungarian physician, developed methods of taking molds from living human eyes so that glass lenses could be made to conform more closely to individual sclera. Seven years later, William Feinbloom, a New York optometrist, introduced the use of plastic for contacts.

1950 – an Oregon optometrist, Dr. George Butterfield, designed a corneal lens. The inner surface of this lens followed the eye’s shape instead of sitting flat, increasing comfort and eye tolerability. This also reduced problems with image and peripheral vision distortion in certain prescription types

1960 – Otto Wichterle and Drahoslav Lim experimented with contact lenses made of a soft, water-absorbing plastic they had developed. This was the major step leading to the soft and disposable lenses that we have today. The water absorption helped with eye dryness problems that could lead to irritations, eye tiredness and focusing problems.

1979 – Rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses made of co-polymers PMMA and silicone became available for commercial distribution in. Many silicone-acrylate lenses become available at this time as well. Gas permeability allows the eye to maintain it’s natural moisture and to refresh it’s surface tear layer without hindrance.

1980 – A tinted daily wear soft lens becomes available for commercial distribution. This is one of the first soft colored contact lenses on the market.

1982 – Bifocal daily wear soft contact lenses becomes available for commercial distribution.

1988 – True disposable lenses become commercially available to the public.

1992 – Disposable tinted contact lenses available on the market.

1996 – First disposable lenses using ultra-violet absorber are available in the U.S.…

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