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History of contact lenses

History of contact lenses

Petr 26. 09. 2021 Blog

History of contact lenses from glass to Mr. Wichterle

Have you ever wondered where history goes back to contact lenses ? We all know the Czech inventor lens Otto Wichterle , but that was before him and after him?

The first idea of contact lenses, which come down to us , he expressed the Renaissance Leonardo da Vinci . In his writings from 1508 described a method diopter submerging the eye in a bowl of water. The first time, but contact lenses appear until many years later , in 1887.
The first contact lenses that unlike a water bowl correspond to our idea lenses were made ​​of glass . First universal gradually produced castings corneal lenses eventually produced the user to measure. After 1933 , the invention of plexiglass , the lenses were produced from him.
World of contact lenses changed in 1955 , when the first soft polymer for the production of contact lenses. Perhaps for you it is no secret that it was in Czechoslovakia , the team of Professor Otto Wicherleho . Improvement of matter , which was a bit of a coincidence , this team developed the hydrophilic gel , called polyHEMA .
The invention of contact lenses
The professor after various ups and downs in their own homes managed to construct a motorcycle turntable , Merkur and generator device for centrifugal casting rotating lenses in forms and in 1961 made ​​the first soft contact lens centrifugal casting . The manufacturing process was considerably cheaper than the previous production methods (turning) and so the contact lenses could widely spread . The whole story of the invention of lenses Professor Wichterle found in our article on the 50 th anniversary invention, soft contact lenses.
PolyHEMA , Hemagel was excellent material . The patent on the material purchased by an American company Bausch & Lomb lens and thanks to it over time spread throughout the world . Soft contact lenses were prescribed more often with immediate comfort after deployment compared to hard lenses . The polymers improved the over 25 years , mainly in terms of oxygen permeability - lens wearers had initially be under medical supervision because of very low permeability material and the risk of hypoxia .
In 1999 there was another revolution. CIBA Vision has invested in the development and come up with new material for the production of soft contact lenses. It was the silicone hydrogel which is characterized by extremely high oxygen permeability and good comfort. With this discovery arose first lens for continuous wear.
Since then, the silicone - hydrogel of 1999 went through several changes. The second generation silicone hydrogel lenses are Air Optix Aqua (higher water content) or Acuvue Oasys (better wetting ) . The latest, third generation silicone hydrogel offered a few years ago, Cooper Vision Biofinity lenses (linking high oxygen permeability with high water content ) .