Contact lenses "have come a long way"

Contact lenses "have come a long way"

Since their humble beginnings almost 500 years ago, contact lenses have come a long way and are now taken for granted by many people – but this was not always the case, one source has pointed out.

A piece on Gizmodo by Rachel Swaby charting the history of contact lenses noted that they began with an idea by Leonardo da Vinci involving a circular bowl filled with water.

The technology progressed significantly in the late 19th century when German ophthalmologist Adolph Fick experimented with blown-glass shells, until the key breakthrough in 1948, when optical technician Kevin Tuohy realised contacts did not have to cover the whites of the eyes.

Eventually, in 1972 an idea for breathable contact lenses was developed by inventor Otto Wichterle and the patent picked up by Bausch & Lomb, paving the way for contact lenses as we now know them.

"Today, 30 per cent of all contacts worldwide are soft daily disposables and glass ones are non-existent. Next time you pop in your lenses, give a little silent thank you the material is soft and your eyes are in tact," the article stated.

by Martin Burns

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