A Man With Vision: The Inventor of Contact Lenses

According to Doghouse Technologies, the first inventor to begin the idea of contact lenses was Leonardo Da Vinci in the early 1500’s. While he never made an actual pair of contact lenses, he did draw diagrams and sketches. Another early inventor, Rene Descartes, used a hydriascope, which is a glass tube filled with water, to neutralize the power of the cornea. But these were men were geniuses born before their time and needed a bit more technology before either one of them could be the inventor of contact lenses.

In the 1800s, several scientists played around with the concept of contact lenses. The lenses were made from blown glass and lathe-cut glass shells. Then, in 1935, PMMA was invented. Polymethylmethacrylate is a plastic, and with this plastic came true changes in contact lens wear. William Feinbloom used PMMA and glass in 1936 in an attempt to make a sclera covering contact lens. The mixing of the two substances did not work, and PMMA became the sole substance used in contact lenses.

So who is considered the inventor of contact lenses? Kevin Tuhoy is considered to be the inventor of contact lenses that fit over the cornea, which is most often smaller but never bigger than the iris of the eye. PMMA does not allow oxygen, which can lead to edema. In the 1970s, a new family of plastics hit the block. Silicone-acrylates allow much more oxygen to pass through the lenses. Now there is FSA, or florosilicone-acrylate, which allows even more oxygen into the eyes and for the material to wet better in the eye. Now, there are bifocal contacts, contacts for astigmatism, and contacts for keratoconus.

The inventor of contact lenses actually describes several people who with their intellects and technology combined came across one of the greatest vision advancements.

Timothy Gorman is a successful Webmaster and publisher of Vision-Doctor.com. He provides more contact lens tips and discount contact lenses that you can research and purchase in your pajamas on his website.