10 things you didn’t know about glasses

In a continuation of facts about the eyes and glasses here are 10 more things you probably didn’t know from our friends over at Lenspick.com.

  1. The first vision correction device was invented in 1000AD, and called a reading stone. As you can imagine, it was for farsighted folk who couldn’t read properly, and was basically a glass sphere used as a magnifying glass. Makes you really thankful for the thin and manageable lenses we have now, doesn’t it?
  2. The first sunglasses, however, date back to 12th century China, where flat crystals of smoky quartz were mounted for personal use to reduce the glare from the sun. It is also said that these ‘sunglasses’ were used by judges while presiding cases, so as not to give away their emotions. This is the earliest record of sunglasses using ‘lenses’. Using materials to see through clearly during daylight or otherwise dates back even further
  3. Now here’s something really interesting, we see contact lenses as an evolution of regular glasses, don’t we? In reality, the first prescription ‘lenses’ were actually similar to contact lenses! Records from 13th century Italy show that glass lenses were used to correct vision, but instead of mounting them in front of the eyes, they were placed directly into the eyes!
  4. You might remember Benjamin Franklin as one of two things, either as a founding father of the United States of America, or the guy who performed the lightning rod experiment. What many people don’t know, however, is that Benjamin Franklin was also the inventor of bifocals. He was both myopic and hypermetropic, so he developed these special lenses to help him see better. Talk about multi-talented!
  5. It may sound trivial, but the term ‘glasses’ doesn’t really make much sense now. The name originated from the fact that most corrective lenses were actually made of glass. But nowadays, glass is becoming increasingly rare as a lens material because of how fragile it is. Most eyeglasses today are made from some variety of plastic.
  6. Contrary to popular belief, wearing someone else’s glasses won’t damage your eyes. Even if you wear your friend’s glasses, which has a different prescription than yours for a couple of weeks, your eyes won’t suddenly ‘change’. This doesn’t hold true for children though, doing the same in kids under the age of 8 increases the risk of amblyopia, more commonly known as ‘lazy eye’.
  7. According to studies and research all around the world, roughly 25% of the total population require eyeglasses or corrective lenses in some form. So 1/4th of the world isn’t able to see perfectly without some form of vision correction, that’s a huge number!
  8. Even though as we mentioned above that the first prescription lenses were similar to contact lenses, they didn’t find mainstream use until much later. The first modern corneal contact lenses were made in 1949, and didn’t become well known until the 70’s.
  9. We all know that earlier ‘medical’ remedies were sometimes ridiculous and sometimes completely out of the world, but did you know that it was believed that wearing gold earrings would improve your vision? Of all the things in the world, apparently it was earrings that helped people see better!
  10. Another misconception people have is that wearing eyeglasses can make you ‘dependent’ on them. They couldn’t be more wrong. The ‘dependence’ people speak of is simply you getting used to wearing your glasses and seeing clearly. We all want to see the world clearly, don’t we? That doesn’t mean that you’re getting dependent on them and won’t be able to function without them at all.

As always at Schmidt’s Optical and Hearing™ we are happy to answer all of your eyeglass questions and help you with your eyeglass needs. Come in and talk to one of our well qualified opticians today.

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