ELE4BME Biomedical Engineering

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Running Head: CASE STUDY: CONTACT LENSESCase Study: Contact LensesName:Institution and Affiliations:Instructor:Date:
CASE STUDY: CONTACT LENSESEarliest History of Contact Lens Technologies & Their Efficacy in CorrectingVisionContact lenses are among the technologies which have transformed the modern globalhealthcare system. Since the 14thcentury, there have been efforts to create solutions torefraction errors on eyes which lead to short-sightedness, long-sightedness, and astigmatism.The development of contact lenses began way back in 1508 when Leonardo Da Vinci tried towear a bowl of water on his head to aid in correcting vision (Fadel, 2017). This was hisunsuccessful attempt to develop contact lenses as his device was impractical in alteringvision. Later in 1636,René Descartes, a French scientist relied on Leonardo’s experiments topropose further ideas. He placed a liquid filled glass-tube directly in contact with the cornea(Vincent et al, 2016). His invention to some extent helped enhance vision except that blinkingwas impossible. For about two centuries later, there were no improvements on contact lensesdesigns. In the year 1801, Thomas Young who was an English Scientist used the ideas ofRené’ Descartes to come up with a pair of contact lenses. Young changed the design byDescartes’ where he reduced the glass tube size to exactly ¼ inch then stuck the lenses filledwith water to his own eyeballs(Fadel, 2017).The device compromised the safety of the eyeand seen as a ridiculous option. The device was out-rightly impractical and could not correcteye problems. The idea on the use of contact lenses to help in the correction refraction errorswas never suggested until later in the year 1845(Toshida, 2008). In this period, Sir JohnHerschel, a physicist from England first hypothesized that if he took a mould of the eyecornea it would produce contact lenses to enable the correction of vision. Even so, thephysicist did not have the right technology to enable him test this particular hypothesis. Histheory however was only a speculation till around 100 years later.
CASE STUDY: CONTACT LENSESImproved Technologies on the Contact LensesIn the 1880s when novel glass production, shaping and cutting technologies emergedit was possible to develop thin lenses. Glass-made contact lens designs which fitted in theeye and allowed blinking for the wearer invented was independently by three differentindividuals. These included Dr Adolf Fick, Louis Girard and Eugene Cult(Vincent et al,2016). Even so, the credit for this discovery has since gone to Dr Fick who was Swissphysician. Fick wrote “A Contact Spectacle” treatise describing the first ever contact lensthat had refractive power that could improve vision. The first ever physical lens sample wascreated by F. A. Mueller, an artificial eye-maker in the year 1887(Toshida, 2008). Theseparticular lenses were referred to scleral lenses since they covered the whole eye includingthe cornea. The lenses were slightly convex and allowed room for tears and dextrose solution.This solution was meant to create the refractive power which could correct vision. In theyear 1888, Dr Fick was able to construct and fit the first ever successful contact lens. Evenso, Fick’s contact lenses created using heavy blown glass with an 18–21mm diameter, wereuncomfortable due to their weight(Guillon 2013).Even worse, the glass-made lenses coveredan individual’s whole exposed eye. The eyes unlike other organs in the body that getoxygenated by blood supplies, get oxygen from the air directly. Therefore covering theeyeballs with shields of glass as lenses essentially suffocates them. Use of scleral lensesdeveloped by DR Fick according toMasoudi et al (2017)led to excruciating eye pain afterseveral hours of using them. In spite of this problem, the glass-made scleral lenses remainedthe main contact lens forms for another 60 years later.In the late 1920s, there were advances in technology in the fields of anaesthesiologyamong other materials. These advances in technology enabled Sir John Herschel’s idea ondeveloping corneal moulds to be tested. This was done in the year 1929, when theHungarians Dr Dallos and Istvan Komàromy developed a perfect technique of making
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