THE HISTORY OF CONTACT LENSES

 

The history of contact lenses and all of the improvements they bring to our lives are fascinating. Vision correction is a prevalent need. Almost half of the population of Canada uses vision correction such as glasses or contact lenses.

 

More and more people are opting for contact lenses to correct their vision. Since 1991, the number of contact lens wearers has increased by 4% each year—the reasons for this increased range from an active lifestyle to an aesthetic preference.

 

What do contact lenses do?

Contact lenses are small lenses worn on the eye. They are designed to correct refractive errors and maintain eye health. They float on the tear film that covers the cornea. Contact lenses work just like glasses. That is, by refracting and focusing the light rays so that the image of the objects appears clearly. Because the contact lens sticks to the tear film on the eye's surface, it moves naturally with it. This is one of the many advantages of lenses over glasses.

 

The different types of contact lenses

Contact lenses are not all the same. Each type aims to meet different needs and have other modalities, or wearing times, whether it is a day, two weeks or a month. The lenses also meet specific needs, including the correction of astigmatism and myopia.

 

Like the lenses in your glasses, contact lenses have different units of power called diopters. There are various shapes of lenses for correcting different vision problems.

Heavier at the base, toric lenses help correct astigmatism. On the other hand, spherical lenses have the same weight over the entire surface and are used to correct myopia and hyperopia. There are also monovision, bifocal and multifocal lenses to correct presbyopia.

 

The history of the technology behind contact lenses

Contact lenses and their concept have been around for much longer than you might think. Like many practical objects of the modern era, contact lenses were invented by Leonardo da Vinci in 1508. In 1636, René Descartes advanced the concept by designing a protruding lens. Then, in 1801, a scientist named Thomas Young became the first contact lens wearer, which he fixed to his eye with wax! As you can see, we've come a long way to get to the comfort level provided by the contact lenses available today.

 

Soft contact lenses

In 1971, soft contacts officially made their appearance, ushering in a new era. Rigid lenses then become a thing of the past.

 

Disposable contact lenses

Another big breakthrough in lens technology came in 1988 when the first disposable lenses were introduced. Eight years later, in 1996, it was the turn of single-use contact lenses to make their debut.

 

Silicone hydrogel contact lenses

The silicone hydrogel lenses available today are more comfortable and can be worn longer than older models.

 

Whatever your vision needs, there seems to be a lens out there today for you.