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The Contact Lens

When the contact lens was invented, the world of vision correction was altered forever. No longer were those people lacking perfect 20/20 vision forced to look any different than everyone else. Both discrete and revolutionary, the contact lens provided a brand new, viable, alternate solution to an age-old problem. After centuries of engineering and discovery the contact lens has evolved greatly. Presently contact lenses are made hard or soft, for daily or continuous wear, gas permeable, and even providing ultraviolet protection. A properly fitted pair of today’s discrete, convenient, versatile, and inexpensive contact lenses provide the best form of vision correction available in today’s market.

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The creation of the first wearable pair of eyeglasses is credited to Salvino D’Armate in Italy around the year 1284 (Bellis). Despite numerous improvements made to this original model, the eyeglasses remained an elementary piece of technology that provided the sole form of vision correction at that time. This was the case century after century. Leonardo da Vinci left us with the first sketches and descriptions of contact lenses in 1508 (CLC). The credit for developing the first corneal contact lens is given to Dr. Thomas Young in 1801. He created a one quarter inch long glass tube filled with water which had a microscope lens fitted on the end (Hartstein). It wasn’t until the late 19th century, however, that the first crude, but tolerable pair of contact lenses were introduced (CLC). Since this first medieval pair, the contact lens has been improved upon time after time. From the introduction of using plastics in contact lens production to the soft, gas permeable, daily wear, disposable lens…

… they will continue to be the leader in the market for vision correction.

Works Cited

Bellis, Mary. “Glass, Mirrors, Eyeglasses, Sunglasses, Contact Lens.” About.

PRIMEDIA. 4 Nov. 2004

CLC. “The History of Contact Lenses.” Contact Lens Council. 4 Nov. 2004

Davis, Robert A., Arnold Semel, and James E. Morris. “Clinical Evaluation of the

Sportsoft Contact Lens.” Contact Lens Spectrum August (1993): 41-43.

Gambino Eye Associates. “Non Surgical Alternative To Lasik Eye Surgery.” See Better

Dallas. Dr. Mike Gambino. 9 Nov. 2004

Hartstein, Jack. Questions and answers on contact lens practice. Saint Louis: C.V.

Mosby, 1968.

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