A contact lens, or simply contact, is a lens placed on the eye. Contact lenses are considered medical devices and can be worn to correct vision, for cosmetic or therapeutic reasons. In 2004, it was estimated that 125 million people (2%) use contact lenses worldwide, including 28 to 38 million in the United States. In 2010, worldwide contact lens market was estimated at $6.1 billion, while the U.S. soft lens market is estimated at $2.1 billion. Some have estimated that the global market will reach $11.7 billion by 2015. As of 2010, the average age of contact lens wearers globally was 31 years old and two thirds of wearers were female.
People choose to wear contact lenses for many reasons. Aesthetics and cosmetics are often motivating factors for people who would like to avoid wearing glasses or would like to change the appearance of their eyes. Other people wear contacts for more visual reasons. When compared with spectacles, contact lenses typically provide better peripheral vision, and do not collect moisture such as rain, snow, condensation, or sweat. This makes them ideal for sports and other outdoor activities. Additionally, there are conditions such as keratoconus and aniseikonia that are typically corrected better by contacts than by glasses.
Famous quotes containing the word contact:
“That those tribes [the Sac and Fox Indians] cannot exist surrounded by our settlements and in continual contact with our citizens is certain. They have neither the intelligence, the industry, the moral habits, nor the desire of improvement which are essential to any favorable change in their condition.”
—Andrew Jackson (17671845)