Corrective Lenses Have Come So Far

Corrective Lenses Have Come So Far


The evolution of corrective lenses has come a long way since they were first invented many years ago! Not only has the technology changed to help with different vision problems, the way the lenses are made has also changed. Let’s quickly go over the history of corrective lenses and how they were made. In 60 A.D., the Roman Emperor Nero used an emerald to get a better look at the gladiators fighting. It’s also believed he used this technology to get protection from the sun. The first proven example of manufactured lenses was found in medieval Europe in the 10th Century. Monks called them “reading stones” which they used to magnify text to see it better. The first pair of spectacles were fashioned from this technology two and half centuries later.

The first rendition of today’s glasses were made from crystal and were mainly used as a status symbol. By the time 1440 hit, literacy rates were super high due to glasses, so the demand for more affordable glasses skyrocketed, which caused manufacturers to switch from crystal to glass. Six centuries later, we still use the glass technology that was used in the 1400’s, but we have also evolved into using variations that help with blocking out the sun, creating different lenses with various curvatures, with plastic, trivex and polycarbonate materials mostly replacing glass.  On the eye lenses have gone high tech in their ability to treat severe dry or abnormally shaped corneas, such as keratoconus.

In keratoconus, the cornea weakens, thins and bulges forward. Keratoconus can be passed on through genetics or possibly excessive eye rubbing, and chronic eye irritation. There are many ways to treat keratoconus, including the use of custom soft contact lenses. Custom soft contact lenses were first manufactured fairly recently and they are specifically designed to correct mild to moderate keratoconus. Some people find them more comfortable than hybrid contact lenses or rigid gas permeable lenses as they are manufactured to fit your unique eye topography.

New technologies for corrective lenses are being introduced every day! One of the most interesting ones that have come out is a digital lens incorporating free-form technology for the correction of presbyopia or high prescriptions. This revolutionary technology is digitally processed using computers to design and surface a lens that is unique to your prescription. This type of lens allows for better night vision, contrast perception, and color vision. The process of getting free-form lenses is also fairly simple: You get your eyes digitally scanned, then from that data a specialized software will be able to find a prescription that will perfectly balance your vision. After that, your lenses will be optimized to fit your frames and face. The final step is the manufacturing process, where your lenses are crafted using a free-form computer guided generator.

If you would like to learn more about free-form digital lenses, how to correct your keratoconus, or anything else in the realm of eyes, contact Dr. Sciberras in Mississauga at 905-828-2282 or email