Contact Lenses

History of Contact Lenses

Glasses have been around for over 700 years, whereas contact lenses are a relatively new invention.  Contact lenses that cover your cornea have existed for over 60 years.

The contact lens history and story:

1508: Leonardo da Vinci demonstrates the concept of contact lenses

1823: The British astronomer Sir John Herschel illustrates the practical lens design

1887: First contact lens made from glass, which fitted over the entire eye.

1939: Contact lens made from plastic

1948: Plastic contact lenses made to cover the cornea

1971: Soft contact lenses were first introduced

1978: Followed by introduction of gas permeable contact lenses

1981: Soft contact lenses for extended (overnight) wear produced

1986: Overnight wear gas permeable (GP) contact lenses were introduced

1987: Introduction of disposable soft contact lenses

1996:  One-day disposable contact lenses introduced

2002:  The introduction of silicone-hydrogel contact lenses

2010: Custom manufactured silicone-hydrogel contact lenses introduced

Soft disposable contact lenses have been a huge success, and continue to be the most popular.