20 Years of Contact Lens Spectrum
BY JOSEPH T. BARR, OD, MS, FAAO, EDITOR
I remember receiving my first Contact Lens Spectrum in the summer of 1986. I knew that Neal Bailey, OD, PhD, its founding editor, had left Contact Lens Forum (which was later incorporated into Contact Lens Spectrum) with a group of experienced trade journal publishers to start this new publication and another called EyeCare Business. Since then, Contact Lens Spectrum has had at least five publishers and is now owned and operated by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins VisionCare Group, a division of Wolters Kluwer Health Inc.
In this issue we feature a special 20th Anniversary section beginning on p. 28. We intend to chronicle the major events of the last 20 years of contact lens history, and we intend to pay tribute to Neal Bailey, the person who guided us to, as he often said, "let them tell their version of the truth about contact lenses." We'll discuss what has happened these past two decades, especially the most significant events. We'll have some of the experts in our field give their perspectives of what contact lens milestones of the last 20 years have been most important and why.
Lawsuits occurred in past decades, but during this decade one lawsuit actually halted the progress of one manufacturer, and we have now witnessed an unprecedented removal of a major lens care product from our market. Quality mass production of soft contact lenses has particularly influenced the past 20 years in the industry, leading to disposable lenses replaced initially on a weekly schedule and now on schedules ranging from daily to two-week to monthly, depending upon the lens itself, how it's marketed, the belief of the practitioner or the needs of the patient. Another major event of the last 20 years was the introduction of very high-Dk materials, both silicone hydrogel and GP, and the reapproval and reintroduction of 30-day continuous wear contact lenses.
We thank everyone who contributed to this issue of Contact Lens Spectrum, and we again express our sincere appreciation to all who have contributed to this publication in the past.