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Did You Know? Plastic Contacts Have Been Around for Over 80 Years!

Discover Something New: Plastic Contacts Have Been Around for Over 80 Years!


When Were Plastic Contacts Invented?

The Early Years of Contact Lenses

Contact lenses have been around since the early 1500s when Leonardo da Vinci first came up with the concept of a contact lens. His idea involved putting a glass bulb filled with water in direct contact with the eye. However, it wasn't until the 1800s that the first contact lens was actually made by a German glassblower, F.E. Muller, who made a contact lens from glass.These early glass lenses were far from perfect, and they were uncomfortable to wear and did not fit properly on the eye. Improvements were made in the early 1900s by William Feinbloom, who developed the first scleral contact lens that covered the entire eye. However, scleral lenses were still uncomfortable and difficult to wear.

From Glass to Plastic

It wasn't until the 1930s that plastic was first used as a material for contact lenses. Dr. Joseph Dallos, an optometrist, introduced polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) as a new material for contact lenses. PMMA is a type of plastic that is lightweight and able to be shaped easily. Compared to glass lenses, PMMA lenses were much more comfortable to wear and easier to fit onto the eye. However, the use of PMMA lenses was not without its problems. Oxygen could not pass through PMMA lenses, and as a result, wearers would experience various eye problems. The inability to let air through the lenses meant that the cornea could not receive the necessary oxygen, which led to corneal irritation and redness.

Development of SofLens and Daily Disposable Contacts

Over time, new advancements were made in the materials used for contact lenses. These improvements led to the development of soft contact lenses or 'SofLens' in the 1960s. Soft contact lenses were made from a gel-like material that was much more flexible and comfortable compared to PMMA lenses. A major breakthrough occurred in the 1990s when daily disposable contact lenses were introduced by Johnson & Johnson. Daily disposable lenses are made from a specially designed hydrogel material that allows oxygen through to the eye. The hydrogel material also makes the lenses much more comfortable to wear and does not require daily cleaning.In conclusion, plastic contact lenses were officially invented in the 1930s, when Dr. Joseph Dallos introduced PMMA as a new material for contact lenses. The evolution of contact lenses has come a long way, from the early days of glass lenses that were uncomfortable and difficult to wear, to the new advancements of soft and disposable contact lenses that are much more comfortable and easier to use.

The Invention of Plastic Contacts

Have you ever wondered when were plastic contacts invented? The history of contact lenses is long and intricate, but we can trace the origins back to the 16th century. Leonardo da Vinci was the first to speculate on the idea of correcting vision using a curved glass held against the eye. However, it wasn't until 1888 that the first contact lenses were actually made by a Swiss ophthalmologist named Adolf Eugen Fick. These initial lenses were made from glass and could be worn for a maximum of only two hours, due to their discomfort.

It wasn't until the 20th century that plastic contacts were invented. The first plastic lenses were made of a material called Plexiglas, a form of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA). The drawback of these lenses was that they were rigid and did not allow oxygen to pass through to the cornea. However, in the 1970s, soft contact lenses were invented, which revolutionized the eyewear industry.

Benefits of Plastic Contacts

Plastic contacts have several benefits over traditional eyeglasses and other types of contact lenses. Here are three major advantages of plastic contacts:

Improved Comfort

The comfort level of plastic contacts is vastly superior to that of glass lenses. The soft, pliable plastic material conforms to the surface of the eye, making them comfortable to wear for extended periods. Additionally, plastic contacts do not slide down the nose or fog up, and they provide a wider field of vision compared to glasses.

Better Vision Correction

Plastic contacts offer better vision correction than eyeglasses because they are positioned directly on the eye's surface, which eliminates the distortion caused by lens frames. Plastic contacts are also beneficial for those with astigmatism, a condition where the cornea has an irregular shape, which causes blurred and distorted vision. Compared to other types of contact lenses, such as gas-permeable lenses, soft plastic contacts conform to the shape of the eye, correcting the irregular curve of the cornea.

Reduced Risk of Eye Infections

Plastic contacts have a lower risk of causing eye infections compared to other types of contact lenses. This is thanks to the improved design and materials used in their manufacture. One major factor is the amount of oxygen that can reach the cornea. Soft contact lenses, made of hydrogels, are permeable to oxygen and allow the eye's surface to "breathe." As a result, they are less likely to cause corneal hypoxia, a condition where the cornea doesn't receive enough oxygen, which can lead to inflammation and eye infections.

The Future of Plastic Contacts

With advances in technology, researchers are always experimenting with new materials and designs to improve the performance and safety of plastic contacts. In the future, we may see smart contact lenses that can monitor health conditions, such as diabetes or glaucoma, and report the results in real-time. These lenses could also have built-in sensors, allowing for augmented reality and virtual displays. Whatever the future may hold, plastic contacts have come a long way since their invention, and they will continue to improve vision and enhance our lives in the years to come.

When Were Plastic Contacts Invented?

While many people today rely on contact lenses to correct their vision instead of eyeglasses, it may be surprising to know that the first contact lenses were made in the late 1800s and were made of glass. These glass lenses were uncomfortable and easily fell out of the wearer's eye, making them difficult to use on a daily basis. It wasn't until the 1930s that plastic lenses were invented, which revolutionized the contact lens industry and made it possible for millions of people to wear contacts comfortably and efficiently.

Popular Brands of Plastic Contacts


Acuvue is one of the most popular brands of plastic contacts and is owned by Johnson & Johnson. The brand was first introduced in 1988 and quickly became a favorite among contact lens wearers due to their innovative products and high-quality standards. Acuvue offers a wide range of contact lenses, including daily wear, extended wear, and disposable lenses. One of the most notable features of Acuvue lenses is their use of BLINK STABILIZED® Design, which helps to stabilize the lens on the eye to reduce blurriness and provide clearer vision.

In addition to regular contact lenses, Acuvue also offers specialized lenses for people with more complex vision issues. For example, the brand's OASYS® for Astigmatism lenses are designed to correct astigmatism while still providing clear, comfortable vision. Acuvue also offers lenses that help block harmful UV rays, making them a great choice for people who spend a lot of time outdoors.


Biofinity is another popular brand of plastic contacts, known for their exceptional comfort and breathability. These lenses are made from a unique silicone hydrogel material that allows more oxygen to reach the eyes, reducing the risk of dryness and irritation. Biofinity lenses are also known for their durability, with each lens able to be worn for up to six nights and seven days without needing to be replaced.

In addition to their standard lenses, Biofinity offers a range of specialized lenses depending on the wearer's needs. For example, their Biofinity Toric lenses are designed to correct astigmatism, while the Biofinity XR lenses offer extended range correction for people with more complex vision issues. Biofinity lenses also come in a range of different sizes and shapes, making them a great option for people with larger or smaller eyes.

Air Optix

Air Optix is a popular brand of plastic contacts known for their comfort and versatility. The brand offers a range of different lenses, including daily wear, extended wear, and toric lenses for people with astigmatism. One of the standout features of Air Optix lenses is their use of Aqua Moisture System, which helps to retain moisture on the lens surface, reducing dryness and irritation.

Air Optix also offers specialty lenses for people with specific vision needs, such as their Air Optix Night & Day lenses, which can be worn continuously for up to 30 days without needing to be removed. The brand's Air Optix Colors lenses are also incredibly popular, offering a range of different colors to give wearers a bold, new look.

In Conclusion

Plastic contacts have come a long way since their invention in the 1930s. Today, there are a wide variety of brands and options available, making it easier than ever to find the perfect contacts to fit your unique needs. Whether you're looking for daily wear, extended wear, or specialized lenses, brands like Acuvue, Biofinity, and Air Optix have you covered.

When Were Plastic Contacts Invented?

Plastic contacts, also known as contact lenses, have revolutionized the way we view vision correction. However, many people are unaware of the history behind this invention. In this article, we will delve into the past and explore the origins of plastic contacts.

The Early Days of Contact Lenses

Contrary to popular belief, contact lenses were not invented in the 20th century. In fact, the concept of correcting vision with lenses placed directly on the eye has been around since the 16th century. Leonardo da Vinci is credited as one of the first people to propose the concept of contact lenses back in 1508, though his designs were never actually built. It wasn't until the 1800s that actual attempts to create contact lenses were made. German glassblower F.A. Muller created the first contact lens in 1887, which was made entirely out of glass. However, these lenses were uncomfortable and fell out easily, leading to numerous complications. Over the next several decades, various improvements in technology and materials were made. In the early 1900s, German ophthalmologist Adolf Gaston Eugen Fick introduced the idea of using plastic for contact lenses, which was a significant breakthrough. But it wasn't until the 1950s that a practical method for creating plastic contacts was developed.

The Invention of Plastic Contacts

In 1950, Czech chemist Otto Wichterle developed a groundbreaking method for creating a hydrogel material that was soft, flexible, and ideal for contact lenses. The resulting product was dubbed "hydrophilic gel" and became the foundation for modern-day contact lens manufacturing. Wichterle was able to mass-produce the hydrophilic gel with a spinning technique, which involved placing the gel on a spinning cylinder mold and allowing it to harden into the desired shape. This process, known as spin-casting, allowed for the production of soft and comfortable contact lenses en masse. The first commercially available hydrogel contact lenses were introduced to the market in 1961 by Bausch and Lomb under the brand name "Soflens." These lenses were a vast improvement over their glass and hard plastic predecessors, and quickly gained popularity among those seeking a more comfortable and convenient vision correction solution.

Tips for Wearing Plastic Contacts

Now that we've discussed the history behind the invention of plastic contacts, let's explore some tips for wearing them safely and comfortably.

Proper Cleaning and Care

One of the most critical aspects of wearing plastic contacts is proper cleaning and disinfection. Failing to do so can lead to eye infections and other complications. Be sure to follow your optometrist's instructions for cleaning and storing your contacts, and never use tap water or saliva to clean them.Additionally, it's essential to replace your contacts as directed, even if they still appear to be in good condition. Over time, contacts can become damaged and accumulate bacteria, making them more difficult to clean and increasing the risk of infection.

Comfortable Fit

Another crucial tip for wearing plastic contacts is to ensure a comfortable fit. This means making sure your contacts are the correct size and shape for your eye, and avoiding over-wearing them. It's essential to take breaks from wearing contacts to allow your eyes to rest and reduce the risk of irritation or infection.If you experience discomfort or have trouble finding contacts that fit properly, don't hesitate to speak with your optometrist. They can help guide you towards the right type of contact lenses for your specific needs.

Regular Eye Exams

Finally, it's important to schedule regular eye exams when wearing plastic contacts. These exams can help detect early signs of infection or other eye issues before they become more serious. Additionally, your optometrist can monitor the health of your eyes and recommend changes to your prescription or contact lens type as needed.In conclusion, the invention of plastic contacts has greatly improved the lives of many individuals seeking a more comfortable, convenient, and effective vision correction solution. By following proper care and fitting techniques, you can safely enjoy the benefits of plastic contacts for years to come.

The Future of Plastic Contacts

While the invention of plastic contacts revolutionized the world of vision correction, the future of these devices holds even more exciting possibilities. Here are three developments on the horizon:

Smart Contact Lenses

Imagine a contact lens that not only corrects your vision but also takes your temperature, measures your glucose levels, and even alerts you if you're about to have a heart attack. That's the promise of smart contact lenses, which use tiny sensors and electronic circuits to gather data from your eyes and transmit it wirelessly to a mobile device. Some companies are already working on prototypes, while others are exploring ways to power the lenses using body heat or solar energy.

Improved Materials and Designs

One issue with plastic contacts has been their tendency to dry out and cause discomfort, especially when worn for extended periods. But researchers are developing new materials and designs to overcome these challenges. For example, some scientists are experimenting with hydrogel lenses that mimic the natural moisture balance of the eye, while others are exploring ways to add lubricants or nanoparticles to the lens material to make it more slippery and comfortable. In addition, new manufacturing techniques such as 3D printing could allow for more precise and personalized shapes that fit better on the eye.

More Customization and Personalization

One size does not fit all when it comes to vision correction. That's why there's a trend toward more customization and personalization in plastic contacts, with specialty lenses for specific eye conditions and preferences. For example, there are toric lenses for astigmatism, multifocal lenses for presbyopia, and colored lenses for cosmetic enhancement. In addition, some companies are offering custom-made lenses that are tailored to the exact shape and curvature of your eyes, using advanced mapping technology to create a digital model based on a scan of your eye.

As these technologies continue to evolve, plastic contacts could become even more advanced and sophisticated, offering a range of benefits beyond simple vision correction. Whether it's monitoring your health, enhancing your comfort, or fitting your eyes more precisely, the future of plastic contacts is looking bright.

Related Video: Did You Know? Plastic Contacts Have Been Around for Over 80 Years!

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