Like most industries today, the eye care industry has gone hi-tech, with lots of new innovations in diagnosing problems, correcting vision and getting eyes working at their best coming to the fore. There have been advances in surgery, the design of glasses and the manufacture of contact lenses too.
Such innovation can be make it easy to forget the many hurdles optometry has overcome to become what it is today. If you go through the history of eye care, you will find that humans have used optical lenses a very long time; while there is still some debate on where the first optics originated, records show that eye lenses were used for decoration as long ago as the 14th century.
By the 18th century, eye glasses and optics were widely used to correct poor vision. In spite of this, glasses did not become mainstream until the 19th century and, even then, sunglasses were more popular. However, thanks to the influence of popular culture, glasses are now considered fashion accessories that can be used to accentuate any outfit.
It would be erroneous to limit any discussion of the history of eye care innovation to glasses and contact lenses only, as there have been a range of exciting advancements in optometry, such as…
Femtosecond lasers to assist in laser eye surgery
The invention of femtosecond lasers changed eye surgery forever. Thanks to laser-assisted eye surgeries, doctors now have more control and precision, leading to better results for those who need help with vision problems.
Femtosecond lasers can be used to correct both myopia and hyperopia, as well as for cataract and glaucoma surgery. The lasers have greatly reduced the duration of these surgeries, and the procedures involve less complications and patients recover better from them than before.
Faster and easier glaucoma testing
For a long time, the only way to measure intraocular pressure – the fluid pressure inside the eye -when testing for glaucoma was through extreme dilation. This usually called for the use of numbing eye drops before the examination, increasing the patients’ discomfort.
All this is set to change with the invention of a small, pen-sized device that allows medical professional to measure intraocular pressure through the eyelid, making the process easier for patients.
Better dry eye diagnostic tests
Innovations in eye care have also led to a better understanding and diagnosis of dry eyes, with osmolarity recently emerging as the gold standard test for dry eyes. This is a very accurate diagnostic test that allows physicians to rapidly examine, diagnose and classify patients according to the severity of their condition. Accurate early diagnosis allows for better treatment with fewer long-term complications.
Improvements in contact lenses
If you wear contact lenses, worry not, as they haven’t been left behind by innovation in eye care. Contact lenses have gradually evolved from being rigid to the soft ones that are now common.
However, eye dryness has always been an issue for wearers of contacts lenses, so there is an interest in developing more comfortable lenses that can be worn for longer.
As you can see, technology in the eye care industry has led to numerous innovations, and since technology is constantly changing and progressing, you can expect to see more innovation in the near future.