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Aralen (Chloroquine Phosphate)

Other names: Chloroquine
When contact lenses came out, millions of people threw away their glasses. In a few months, many were sorry. The contacts hurt. Every day, you had to take them out of your eyes. And, much too often, you were down on your knees like a grazing sheep looking for a lens that had dropped onto the floor.
Now, thanks to plastic engineering, contact lens wearers can leave their plastic disks in their eyes for up to 1 week, playing sports and sleeping with them in.
The new lenses are called extended-wear contact lenses, and more than a half-million Americans now wear them.
“You can’t tell they’re in your eyes,” says Barry Maddox, a restaurant buyer in St. Louis. “It’s almost as if I have no eye problem.” Since he was 13 years old, Mr. Maddox had worn thick, unattractive eyeglasses.
The old contact lenses didn’t let much oxygen through to the cornea, the outside window of the eye. Without oxygen, the cornea could swell up. So engineers created a plastic that soaked up water like a sponge. The water lets the oxygen through to the cornea.
“It’s like wearing a teardrop with a lens,” says Dr. Louis Wilson, director of the contact lens clinic at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. Many eye doctors now prescribe daily disposable lenses.

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