While contact lenses may seem like a modern invention, they’ve been around in one form or another for hundreds of years.
The concept of a type of lens that could be worn directly on the eye’s surface may in fact have come from one of the world’s most proliﬁc and esteemed inventors—Leonardo DaVinci. In 1508, DaVinci conceptualized several forms of the device, but never created a functional prototype.
In 1887, a German glassblower named F.E. Muller crafted the ﬁrst glass lens that actually covered the eye. It’s unlikely they were tolerable for more than a short period of time. Over 40 years later in 1929, Joseph Dallos, a Hungarian physician, developed a method of making molds from human eyes so that lenses could conform to their natural curvatures.
In 1936, a New York optometrist named William Feinbloom created the ﬁrst plastic contact lens. Another leap forward came in 1960, when Otto Wichterle from Czechoslovakia developed a soft, water-absorbing plastic called polymacon. The ﬁrst soft lenses were made from this material.
The Bausch and Lomb company is credited with bringing modern contact lens technology to the world in 1971. The materials used for lenses as we know them have evolved dramatically. Once designed only for daily use, many types of lenses can now be worn continuously for days or weeks at a time. Some high quality soft lenses are now made from disposable materials and replaced each day by a new pair, eliminating the need to care for them and reducing the risk of lens-related complications.
Island Eyecare oﬀers the most technologically advanced contact lenses available. Dr. Tim Barr and his team provide expert lens ﬁttings and consultations to determine which type of lens is best for you. If you’re considering contacts, please visit our website at seeislandeyecare.com and schedule an appointment today.