Medicine: Bifocal Contact Lenses

Today's featherweight plastic contact lenses are invaluable to many nearsighted and farsighted people. But those who need bifocal correction still cannot use them. Reason: it is useless to place a reading prescription in the bottom of a contact lens because the tiny plastic disk, resting in a shallow bath of tears, rotates once or twice a minute.

Last week Optometrist Newton K. Wesley of Chicago's Eye Research Foundation announced an ingenious solution: a bifocal contact lens with the distant-vision prescription in the center, enclosed by a surrounding area that corrects for closeup reading. Rotation therefore makes no difference. Wesley, who tried the...

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