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Contact lenses can be manufactured in a variety of ways.

Soft contact lenses are most commonly “cast molded.” In this process, the polymer that the lens is made from is injected in liquid state into a two-part mold. The parts are pressed together to form a specifically determined lens power, diameter, curvature and edge. The lens is then cured into a solid though soft and pliant state. It is stored in sterile saline (the consistency of human tears) in a foil-topped plastic pack. Soft lenses also can be lathe-cut in a solid state and then hydrated. A third method is spin-casting, in which the liquid polymer is spun into a prescribed shape and then firmed into a soft lens. When finished, soft lenses are made up of about one-third to one-half water.

Oxygen permeable contact lenses are made differently. The liquid polymer used in the lens is solidified into rods, which are cut into buttons, from which a finished lens is cut on a computer-driven lathe. In some cases, the inside curve (called a “base curve”) is molded and then finished. The computer-generated lathing process allows for an oxygen permeable lens to be “custom made” to the exact corneal curvature of your eyes.

© 2007 Contact Lens Council
 » Enjoy the freedom of contact lenses  
 » Contact lenses at a glance
 » For all ages
 » For virtually all vision needs
 » Easy to care for
 » How contact lenses work
 » Types of contact lenses
 » Designs for special vision conditions  
 » Designs for eye color
 » How contact lenses are made
 » History of contact lenses
 » How do I get contact lenses?
 » Where do I get contact lenses?
 » How do I care for contact lenses?
 » How do learn lens care?
 » Can I use makeup with contact lenses?
 » What if my eyes become red or irritated?  
 » Contact lenses are for all ages
 » From tweens to seniors
 » When are contact lenses right for you?
          • How young is too young?
          • Am I a responsible young person?
          • Are there measures of responsibility?
          • Why is proper care so vital?
          • Why wear contact lenses while young?
          • What is the expense of contact lens wear?
          • What are the risks of contact lens wear?
          • Can contact lenses improve sight?
          • What if there's no need for vision correction?  
 » Knowing and doing the right steps
 » 6 easy steps to ensure eye health
 » Why proper lens care is so important
 » Learn the proper steps from the start
 » Multipurpose solutions make lens care simple
 » To rub or not to rub?
 » Follow your recommended schedules
 » Keep your solutions pure
 » Eyes red or irritated?
 » Eye makeup and contact lenses
 » Avoid extending contact lens life
 » Silicone Hydrogel Lenses Gaining Acceptance
 » Silicone Hydrogel Lenses Instead of Laser Vision Correction?  
 » Custom Contact Lenses Redefine Optimal Eyesight
 » Contact Lenses Help Aging Eyes
 » Contact Lens Solutions Simplify Compliance
 » Comfort Drops May Offer Relief and Clearer Vision
 » Options Expanding in Daily Disposables
 » Blocking Out Harmful UV Rays