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To the Editor:
The letter of Dr. Joseph M. Dixon in the June 1966 issue of the Archives regarding the terminology of contact lenses calls for some amplification.The Greek verb haptein means "to fasten to; to fasten on." In its middle form it stands for "to fasten one's self to," hence "to cling to." Among the many secondary meanings are "to touch, affect; to apprehend with the senses, perceive," etc.The term "haptic" as it relates to contact lenses is not intended to convey the meaning that they cause a sensation of touch, or any other sensational meaning. The "scleral" contact lenses consist of two parts: a "haptic" portion by which they "cling to" the sclera and an "optical" portion positioned in front of the cornea. In the "corneal" contact lenses the scleral portion is dispensed with. A single element performs both the haptic and optic functions. Interpreted in
Burian HM. HOLD ON THERE. Arch Ophthalmol. 1966;76(3):467. doi:10.1001/archopht.1966.03850010469039