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Archive for January, 2012

Eye Glasses: a History and the Future

eye glasses Shawnee OpticalEye glasses are in the process of changing significantly. The eye glasses of tomorrow will be noticeably different than the variety of lenses and frames being offered today.

Eye Glasses History Lesson

Historians generally give credit to Italian monks for fabricating the first pair of eyeglasses at some point between the years 1285 – 1290. These spectacles, as they were commonly called, were used for reading.  Eye glasses to correct distance vision are estimated to have been crafted in the early 1400’s.

One of our Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin, invented bifocal lenses in the year 1784 which allowed for correction of both distance vision and near vision in the same lens. An Englishman, Sir George Airy, designed lenses to correct astigmatism in 1825.

Trifocal lenses which have three specific powers (one for near vision, one for intermediate vision and one for distance vision) were produced by inventor and musician John Hawkins in the year 1826.

In 1958, Essilor International introduced progressive multifocal lenses which further enhanced lenses with multiple powers for distance, intermediate and near vision.

Innovations in Eye Glasses

Technology is playing an increasing role in the evolution of eyeglasses. Lenses have been developed and continue to be refined whereby the entire lens adjusts with your vision needs.

Electronic eye glasses have been designed with a special type of lens filled with a clear crystal liquid layer that can be electronically controlled automatically or manually. A touch of the finger to the side of the frames or a tilt of the head in a certain direction changes the entire lens to serve your vision needs. If you want to read something, a tilt of the head downward will cause the eyeglasses to automatically adjust the entire lens for near vision. A split-second swipe of the finger across the temples of your frames will allow you to look up from what you were reading and see a distant object clearly through the convenience and comfort of the entire lens.

Electronic glasses are powered by a battery and need to be re-charged. They are currently offered to the public but as you may guess with any emerging technology, they are rather pricey today.

Computing via Eyeglasses

While not targeted towards vision correction, electronic display eyeglasses are being developed that use eye movements to control presentation of information. These eyeglasses contain a microchip that takes data from a PDA (Personal Digital Assistant) and displays it directly on the person’s retina, creating an illusion that the images and text are a few feet away. Eye movements can control menus, search information, play video and conduct many other tasks routinely performed on desktops, laptops and mobile devices today.

This advancement in eye wear is still in the prototype phase. The technology is not yet at a point where its purchase and every day use are feasible.

Discuss emerging eye wear technologies that may serve your unique vision needs, lifestyle and budget with your eye doctor at your next eye exam. The options and the choices are changing.

To learn about a company and a team of eye care professionals that have been providing their patients with quality eye care and eye wear for more than 30 years, please visit

A Time for Evaluating Vision and Eye Care

Evaluating Vision and Eye CareThe start of each New Year brings a time for evaluation and change.  Assessing vision and eye care are important steps in maximizing and maintaining eye health for you and your entire family.




Here are a few important questions to ask yourself:

  •  When was my and my family members’ last eye exam?
  • Are my and/or my family’s eye glasses prescription(s) up to date?
  • Are my and/or my family’s contact lenses prescription(s) up to date?
  • Is my and my family members’ vision clear both at a distance and close up?
  • Do I strain or do I notice my family member’s straining to see either at a distance or when reading?
  • Am I happy with the eye care and the eye wear my family and I have been receiving in the past?

 If upon answering these questions, you realize it’s time to see an eye care professional, consider the following:


It’s important to find an eye care specialist with the proper training to meet your and your family’s unique requirements. Be sure when selecting an eye doctor you investigate their education, training, licensure and other credentials to confirm he or she offers the services that match your needs. You can confirm credentials by contacting your state’s board of optometry.



Experience is a critical characteristic in the selection of an eye doctor, especially if you or a family member has complicated eye conditions. Experience enhances an eye doctor’s abilities and skills so they can catch eye problems early as well as detect other potential health problems through eye examinations.



The recommendation of a friend, family member or co-worker can be a great resource to point you in the right direction for selecting an eye doctor.  The Better Business Bureau can also be a great tool.

Quality and Customer Service

When it comes to your eye care and eye wear needs, you are a customer. You have choices of where to go and who to give your business to. You should be treated with respect and provided friendly and professional service. You should also be offered products that are made with quality and serve your eye care needs precisely.

Long Term Relationships

Finding an eye doctor that you and your family can build a long term relationship with is also a vital element that should not be overlooked. You should be relaxed with your eye doctor and communicate with him or her so your eye doctor can understand you, your family, your lifestyle, your careers and how best to provide the eye care that will be critical to the eye health of you and your family members at every stage of life.

To learn about a company and a team of eye care professionals that have been operating based on the above for more than 30 years, please visit

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