People were attempting to cure eye conditions as long as 2,100 years ago, it has been claimed.
Victoria Ward, writing for the Daily Telegraph, noted that people in the first century AD were researching the best ways to cure sight problems and came up with ways of magnifying objects.
"The earliest written record of magnification dates back to the 1st century AD, when Seneca the Younger, a tutor of Emperor Nero of Rome, wrote "letters, however small and indistinct, are seen enlarged and more clearly through a globe or glass filled with water"," she explained.
Ms Ward added that Nero is also thought to have used an emerald in order to improve his sight when watching matches at the Colosseum.
In more modern research, Professor Donald Fox, from the University of Houston"s College of Optometry, recently suggested that exposure to lead could transform human embryonic retinal stem cells into neurons that would be transplanted into patients to treat retinal degenerations.
by Martin Burns