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Exploring their history and importance
Spectacles are more than just a piece of glass or plastic that protects your eye. Corrective lenses are actually specially designed to help treat and to fix such eyesight conditions as astigmatism or myopia, along with other vision problems. As such, there are many people, no doubt millions worldwide that depend on certain types of prescription eyeglasses to get through their daily activities. What many people don't realise, however, is the fact that there is actually quite a rich and involved history behind prescription eyewear. Believe it or not, this history is actually quite an interesting story. It is said that corrective glasses lenses were first used and developed in the 9th century by an Arab man named Abbas Ibn Firnas, though the form of magnification has been recorded even earlier than that. It wasn't until 1284 however, that the Italian inventor Salvino D'Armate would take the credit for producing the world's first pair of wearable seeing glasses lenses though!
However, the modern form that we are all familiar with, is the entire glasses lenses / frame combination. This was introduced to the general public in the year 1727 by Edward Scarlett, a British man who worked as an optician. Benjamin Franklin invented bifocals in 1784 on account of his myopia and presbyopia, while the first glasses lenses that were designed to correct astigmatism were developed in 1825 by a British inventor by the name of George Airy. The first textbook written on the process of examining the human eye and afterwards, diagnosing any visual problems was written by Dr F.C. Donders of Holland, and his textbook also covered the prescription of eyeglasses to a doctor's patients as well. Eventually this led to an increased interest in the human eye. As a result many doctors set up shops and offices solely for eye examination and the prescription of eyeglasses. As it turns out, this was a rather profitable business before we had a set of standards to follow when trying to diagnose vision problems. Previously, patients would merely try on several different types of glasses until they found the pair that achieved the best optical performance for them. The process of eye examination and eyewear prescription eliminated this method, which, understandably, is now seen as being rather silly. This eventually evolved into the form of modern optometry as we know it today. More | Choosing the right lens thickness
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