The history of eyeglasses is shrouded in mystery. No single person is credited with its invention although record shows that the Vikings had a similar device used for magnifying objects. As for the development of eyeglasses, history tells of a friar in the 13th century who had an outline of using glasses for clearer vision. Following this ancient history, the friars, from 13th to 14th century kept this device a secret although there were accounts of them referring to it from time and time again.
Where Did Eyeglasses Come From?
At that time, however, in Venice, Italy, the crystal workers were already creating discs for the eyes “vetri da occhi”, a device for magnifying objects. These were similar to the eyeglasses that we know. Later, in the 15th century, the spectacles were mass produced and commercialized. These spectacles were convex lenses and concave lenses, for presbyopes and myopes respectively. Later, Florence became the leading manufacturer of spectacles. Other countries, including England, Germany and France, soon started manufacturing glasses. The glasses were cheap and not easy to use. The lenses were held in place by two mounted stones that are connected by a rivet. Nevertheless, they were so popular that they were used not just by nobles, but also by artisans and masons.
When the printing press was invented, eyeglasses became even more popular. Soon it was even associated with intelligence. During the 17th century, eyeglass manufacturers started created high-quality lenses. They added flint to the glass to make them clearer. It was also during this time when tinted eyeglasses were created and also became popular. In 1760 Benjamin Franklin improved eyeglasses by creating the bifocals. Over the years, eyeglasses were improved, not just in quality, but in style.
From the basic principle of improving vision through the use of eyeglasses, the first ever recorded contact lens was manufactured in 1887. The contact lens was made from glass and fitted over the entire eye. These were called scleral lenses. Eugene Cult, August Mueller, and Adolf Fic individually created their own versions of the scleral lenses. However, it was much later, in 1930, when the technology finally allowed it, that the plastic lenses were produced for contact lenses. Then in 1954, its therapeutic use was developed in England, innovations over the years lead to the creation of soft contact lenses.
In 1898, the first principle of keratotomy was developed. Then in 1960, Russian Slava Fyodorov improved the technique by having multiple incisions on the cornea to correct refractive errors. Then in 1980, the excimer laser was developed. This revolutionized refractive surgery as it is very precise and safe. It is also very effective compared to the previous eye surgery. With the use of the laser, it has become possible for doctors to remove only the exact amount of tissue in the cornea for optimum results. If you are interested in laser eye surgery or LASIK, you can visit Houston LASIK & Eye, one of the leading eye centers in Houston.
Houston LASIK & Eye leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The Center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS and Air Force fighter pilots. At Houston LASIK & Eye, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478 or visit us at www.houston-lasik.com.
About the Author
Amjad Khokhar, M.D. is Chief LASIK Surgeon at Houston LASIK & Eye. Add Dr. Khokhar on Google+ here. :