Did you know that contact lenses are not exactly 20th century inventions? These were actually made out of glass in the 19th century, approximately in the late 1800s, for people suffering from the effects of seriously damaged eyes. The first contacts were blown out of glass and placed over the part of the eye with damage thus helping the patient see better; the contacts were usually placed over the eye with a tiny amount of animal jelly.
Here are a few more interesting factoids about contact lenses that you and your optometrist as well as fellow patients at a Sears clinic will have fun discussing.
Telescopes Were the Original Inspiration
In 1821, John William Herschel developed the first prototype for contacts; John was the son of William Herschel, the famous astronomer for whom the Herschel Telescope of Spain was named in honor of. John conceived of the idea of grinding lenses originally used for telescopes albeit at a significantly smaller scale. His goal: To improve human vision, a goal that still applies to modern contacts.
Contacts to Reshape the Eyes
No, it’s not science fiction because the technology has been around for several years. The technology, known as orthokeratology or ortho-K, is corneal reshaping, a process whereby specialized contact lenses reshape the cornea’s curvature overnight and maintain its shape for an entire day. The contacts are used for correcting moderate near-sightedness but these are only recommended in certain cases specifically for children and adults with changing vision, as well as for people who dislike contacts and lenses or people who shouldn’t be wearing contacts (e.g., swimmers).
Contacts Can Be More Beneficial than Lasik
Lasik surgery may be more effective in many cases of vision problems but it’s not always the perfect solution as many patients believe. It has permanent side effects, such as permanent feeling of dry eye, glare at night, and halos as well as increased risk for infections. In contrast, when you remove contacts, whatever issues you have been experiencing while these were on your eyes will likely go away. You have to discuss the pros and cons of each option with your doctor before making your choice.
You may also observe that your contacts feel dry at night’s end, no thanks to their salty feel. Instead of your contacts being dry – contacts are hypertonic – this is because your eyes have natural tears that bathe them in salt while you’re wearing them. Salt is good for your eyes’ health but, as with anything in life, too much of it can be unhealthy.