Reliving the History of Eyeglasses
Posted on March 1, 2016
By now, we all know what eyeglasses (also known as glasses or spectacles) are as well as how they look. This optic solution pertains to a simple construction that includes two lenses held together by a frame. Glasses have been around with a purpose to correct our distorted vision, protect our eyes from airborne particles, or even as a fashion statement. Have you ever thought about the optometric industry and what the world would be with without prescription eyeglasses? Here, we dig a little deeper, and relive the history of eyeglasses in order to uncover the origin and educate those intrigued by this innovative product.
The Eyeglasses Timeline
According to many ancient manuscripts, eyeglasses were invented in the 13th century in Italy. No one knows who exactly was the inventor – but prior to that period of time, there are descriptions that people knew how to use two convex lenses to see tiny objects and read the smallest words at incredibly long distances. This also allowed them to magnify the images they saw, improving the quality and perception of these visualizations. In terms of protecting the eyes, the Inuit had already used their own version of snow goggles, while the Chinese used smoky quartz to create the oldest version of sunglasses in the 12th century.
Early glasses already had the capability to correct both farsightedness and presbyopia – which is the result and also symptom of aging. However, their appearance, especially in the construction of the frames – was far more different than what it is today.
Early forms of eyeglasses frames included two handles riveted together to grip the nose. As eyeglasses went through evolution, human beings witnessed many other new, creative and exotic looking types frames. Although these frames needed to be held in place by hand, there were also frames that sat still on the nose by putting pressure on it (with a string or ribbon passing over the head of the wearer for tighter holding). Additional models included frames with handles instead of earpieces, frames that were shaped like pairs of scissors, and other combinations of the frames that are common today.
With science and technological innovation, people have continued to revolutionize and improve eyeglasses in order to make them not only more fashionable, but also more durable to withstand the constant stress of everyday using or accident. For example, there have been eyeglass frames made from intelligent metal that returns to its original shape after being bent, or frames whose hinges are loaded with springs. That’s why although contact lenses and laser eye surgery have entered the scene for such a long time, glasses still prove to be very common and relevant in the eye care field.
It’s estimated that since 1970, 75% of the US population wears glasses due to the increase of nearsighted cases and 93% of elderly people ages 65 to 75 are forced to wear corrective glasses for aging eye problems. The need for eyeglasses throughout the world, will only continue to increase as the population grows along with diminishing eyesight factors. For now, the only thing you need to worry about is finding a competent pair of glasses that suit your needs and style. Consult with an optometrist for detailed information on how to choose a suitable pair of glasses, and start wearing them today for better improved vision and eye health.
Feel free to ask about our home optics program that sends an eye care specialist to your home for fitting, re-ordering, and prescriptions.