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Contact Lenses What Does The Future Hold?

Nov 13, 2007
If you were on a quiz show and the question was "Who was the first person to explore the possibility of contact lenses?" you would search your memory for the name of a famous ophthalmologist. However, you would have to go back in history to 1508 when Leonardo da Vinci was the first person to talk about the concept. This visionary was more of a genius and prophet than we could imagine. Of course it was only a rough premise but he was way ahead of his time.

To get to the first inception of the modern contact lens we jump forward almost 400 years to 1888. A Swiss physiologist named Adolph Fick invented them and they were made entirely of glass. The effect on the eye was unacceptable due to the fact that oxygen was prevented from reaching the eyeball. They could not be tolerated for any length of time.

Next we move ahead to the 1930's when American scientists began to develop a plastic version based on Adolph Fick's concept. But they also covered the entire eyeball and that continued to be a problem.

Along came Kevin Touhy to invent a contact lens that could be tolerated by the human eye. It was plastic but covered only the cornea of the eye. This was the first version of the modern "hard contacts" and they were made in America. His concept was practical in the sense that oxygen did reach the surface of the eyeball while the contacts were in place.

Pausing for a moment to allow all you contact lens wearers to applaud him. In 1947 after centuries of input from previous geniuses Kevin Touhy got it right!

In 1948 this optician received a patent for his major design change. It was the first version that did not cover the entire surface of the eye.

When you make the decision to put your glasses aside and get contact lenses the first step is an eye exam. Since 1971 when soft contact lenses were first introduced comfort has been radically improved. As they grew thinner and more comfortable for the wearer more and more people chose them over glasses. An estimate of 90% of all people who require vision correction are choosing contact lenses over eye glasses.

In 1981 contacts that can be left in overnight were offered for sale. Another improvement was in 1981 to 1984 when bifocal soft contact lenses were developed for common use. Another innovation was offering them not for vision correction but simply to change eye color. To many Americans this seems to reach a new level of vanity.

We now have contact lenses that are worn overnight and a version that can be worn for up to two-weeks. This matches perfectly our disposable society. Without going into medical details it is good to know that some serious vision abnormalities can be corrected or improved with the latest innovations in the soft and disposable contact lenses. You may wear them for vision correction or for vanity purposes but they are a wonderfully practical replacement for glasses...
About the Author
James Brown writes about FramesDirect.com on-line coupons , 39dollarglasses.com coupon and EyeBuyDirect.com coupon
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