How the Contact Lens came to be?

Ever wondered how the contact lens came to be? Do you know who invented the first contact lens? When it was invented? And what changes took place before it became the modern contact lens we use today? The contact lens has been around for more than a century. It was during 1827 when Sir John Herschel, an English astronomer thought of an idea to create a molded lens that fit the eye’s surface. Sixty years after, on 1887, F.A. Muller, a glass blower used Sir Herschel’s idea and created the first glass contact lens. Soon after, Dr. A.E. Fick, a French optometrist and physician utilized the first glass contact lens to manage nearsightedness and farsightedness. These glass lenses were not comfortable. Patients can only tolerate a few hours of wearing them.
From glass contact lenses, hard plastic was the next material used. In 1936, Dr. William Feinbloom, an American optometrist revolutionized plastic as the main material used in contact lens manufacturing. Dr. Feinbloom’s initial design had a glass central portion. In 1948, Dr. Kevin Tuohy also an American optometrist invented an all plastic contact lens that’s smaller in diameter but still covers the entire cornea. Throughout the 1950’s and 1960’s modifications have been made on Dr. Touhy’s contact lens design, peripheral curves have been flattened, the lens was made thinner and smaller matching the natural shape of the cornea.
The 1970’s was the year of the soft contact lenses. Although the hard plastic lens was widely used by many people, comfort was still an issue. Hard contact lenses are not very comfortable to wear. Application and removal of these lenses caused several forms of eye irritation. When soft plastic lenses became available, many wearers experienced less discomfort. These soft contact lenses have many variations. These lenses can be disposable, tinted, rigid gas permeable, extended wear, bifocal and many others.