By Michael Hutton
Vision correction has entered a new high fashion era for those contact lens wearers who like to flaunt their wealth in the great tradition of Mae West and others. This follows on from the news that an optometrist from the Shekhar Eye Research Center in India has developed the world's first contact lenses made with gold and diamonds. Valued at $15,000, the sparkly contact lenses are oxygen permeable and can be customized for vision correction. The contact lenses weigh about 500 milligrams and are available in four designs: white gold, yellow gold, 18 diamonds on white gold and 18 diamonds on yellow gold.
The creator, Dr. Chandrashekhar Chawan, says he was inspired by his wife's cosmetic dentistry procedure when she chose to have diamonds planted on her teeth. Made of Chandra Boston Scleral lenses, the contacts are designed so that the diamonds and gold do not touch the cornea and the lenses hold water in front of the cornea for comfort. Usually prescribed in more specialist circumstances where patients suffer from corneal irregularities, scleral lenses are large in diameter and rest on the sclera, or the white of the eye. However, it is the first time that such a method of vision correction has also been used as a jewellery item.
The company plans to make only 3,996 of these specialist jewellery contact lenses and is confident that they will find sufficient willing buyers for such a high cost purchase. Dr Chawan has also determined that an element of the profits earned from these unique contact lenses will benefit people suffering from Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, a skin disease that can affect tear glands and lead to vision loss. High cost leading brand designer spectacle frames have found a large market across the world so it does not seem such an unrealistic ambition to find a niche market for bejewelled contact lenses and demonstrates that the world of vision correction can always deliver surprises.
Check if you are suitable for overnight ortho-k corrective contact lenses for shortsightedness - worn only while sleeping.