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To the Editor:
The increasing popularity of contact lenses has increased the written and spoken use of terms to describe these lenses. We have corneal lenses and we also have scleral lenses, sometimes referred to as haptic lenses. Haptic refers to "the science of touch, or the sense of contact" (Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary, W.B. Saunders Co.). The Greek haptein means contact or combination.Webster's New International Dictionary, unabridged, G. & C. Merriam Co. defines haptic as "pertaining to the sense of touch." The meaning of the word haptic refers to the sensation created by the lens or to what the lens does. Therefore, all contact lenses are haptic lenses, including both corneal and scleral lenses.Fortunately, the most commonly used descriptive terms accurately describe contact lenses as scleral or corneal. Everyone is aware that they produce a sensation. Perhaps haptic means that they are sensational.Dr. Dixon is tactful,
Dixon JM. SENSATIONAL SEMANTICS. Arch Ophthalmol. 1966;75(6):892. doi:10.1001/archopht.1966.00970050894030