Unlike other inventions, spectacles or eyeglasses have, ironically, an unclear history. Although there are many individuals who have been associated with its development over the years, there is no single person who can be credited for its invention. History shows that the Vikings were actually using some kind of device that magnified objects.
13th Century Glasses
In the 13th Century, his Opus Majus had an outline of the basic principles of corrective lenses. This was, however, published in 1733. Speculations abound about it being secretly kept hidden by the friars at the time. Opus Majus remained only a principle and no real object was ever created from it. Then in 1305, a famous priest from Pisa, Friar Giordano, remarked on his sermon about the art of making spectacles. According to him, he knew the man who developed this new art and had seen the spectacles himself. It is interesting to note that the first friars considered this new technology as something of grand value, enough for them to keep it a secret for several decades.
14th Century Moves to Correcting Vision
Since then and until the 14th century several things were written about correcting vision. This includes lotion on the eye to the use of polished objects. By the turn of the 14th century a glass manufacturer in Murano Venice was already manufacturing convex lenses. It was not clear, however, if they were ever used as spectacles.
The inventor of the spectacles as we know it today has been lost in history. The first actual depiction of the spectacles was in a frescoes by Tommaso de Moderna. It showed Cardinal Hugo of Provence writing in his desk wearing a pair of spectacles and Cardinal Nicholas of Rouen wearing monocular lenses. Cardinal Hugo died in the 13th century so there was no way that he could have worn the glasses. The artist chose to include the device only to represent the friar as a “carrier of the sciences.” In fiction, they were first depicted by Franco Saccheti in the 14th century. In his work, a Florentine character said, “I don’t see well without my spectacles.”
From their mysterious beginnings, eyeglasses have given birth to advances in correction vision. Today, we have laser eye surgery or LASIK, the latest medical and technological breakthrough in correction vision. LASIK, short for in-situ keratomileusis, is an eye surgery that is commonly used in correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. The surgery involves the use of a laser in reshaping the cornea. As the cornea is reshaped properly, light can then travel to the retina. This allows for clearer vision. LASIK has become the preferred treatment for correcting vision because it has a 96% success rate. Moreover, it can be adjusted later if the person’s vision changes as they age. For many patients, there is also the benefit of easy and fast recovery. Compared with other treatments, it causes very little pain and requires no stitches. If you want to know more about LASIK, you can visit Houston LASIK & Eye, the leading eye center 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 Hosuton 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 Sugarland Eye & Laser Center. Add Dr. Khokhar on Google+ here.