by Adrianna Noton
Posted on Thursday 4th of August 2011
Many people wear contact lenses on a daily basis to improve their eyesight or change the way their eyes look. However, most do not know the history of the contact lens itself. If you have ever been curious to know how this lens has progressed to what you use today, then consider some of the following information.
It has been said that Leonardo Da Vinci is the first person who sketched and designed contact lenses in 1508. It wasn't until 300 years after that contact lenses were actually created and worn. The soft contact lenses that many wear now were originally invented by Otto Wichterle, who was a chemist.
Adolf Gaston Eugen Fick was the first individual to create and fit successful rigid lenses. The lenses were made from blown glass and were made to rest on the less sensitive areas of the eye, such as the tissue around the cornea. They were 18-21mm in diameter and were originally tested on rabbits, then Fick, and eventually some volunteers.
However, the problem with these original rigid lenses was that there was no way for oxygen to pass between the eye and the lens. This caused discomfort and various adverse reactions for the individual. Eventually, different materials were developed that could be used for rigid lenses. This allowed for eyes to still be corrected via the use of hard lenses, but also offered oxygen permeability.
Since the creation of soft lenses and their release in 1971, the lenses have been more prescribed than typical rigid lenses. This is because soft lenses are more comfortable than rigid lenses and the eyes can become more accustomed to them quicker. After the lenses were released, the polymers that were used for their creation has been improved over time has progressed. The result is soft lenses that now offer oxygen permeability.
Lenses serve three different functions. There are corrective lenses which are used to improve the vision of those who wear them. There are also cosmetic lenses which are used to decorate the eye or change the appearance of it. For people who have eye disorders, therapeutic lenses are used as a treatment as well. The lenses that are used for each individual are dependent on an eye examination by an optometrist.
As time continues to pass, there is more research and progression with contacts. Currently there is a large amount of focus being placed on the prevention of eye conditions that can result from lenses becoming contaminated from proteins and bacterias. There is also research on what can be done to treat these problems.
There is, of course, more information that is associated with the history of the contact lens. Throughout all of the centuries, there have been much more discoveries and various types of research that contributed to contact lenses than what can be listed here. What is listed here is a very general overview. If you have found this information interesting, you may want to take the time to learn more about lenses and how they have changed throughout the years.
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