Have you been curious about the timeline of eyeglasses and contacts? Both vision correction options have an impressive history and today’s eyecare industry offers the consumer market a variety of convenient options that fit your unique features, lifestyle, and style preference. The Art of Optiks team is ready to help you find the best vision correction option that gives you the confidence and comfort you deserve.
So, Where Did It All Begin?
The history of eyeglasses is quite impressive, and as with any item we use today, the transformation is remarkable. Even though the original inventor of eyeglasses is unknown, many historical events, moments, and timelines display the evolution. Glass was utilized to magnify small text for reading by the Romans and throughout the middle ages. Due to this, Italian glass blowers created reading stones during the thirteenth century, which closely resemble the magnifying glass that we know today. Reading stones were set in wooden, or leather frames with horn or wood attached, so individuals could easily hold the device up to their eyes or even perch it on their nose. Glass blowers continued to create different types of lenses that varied in thickness, meaning each pair would correct a wearers vision differently. Since eye exams didn’t exist, those needing vision correction simply picked a pair at random, hoping that it would be correct for their vision.
In the past, eyeglasses have been considered a symbol of status. Edward Scarlett created the first wearable eyeglasses in the 1700s, which is the design we know today: around-the-ear. Other pivotal moments in the progression of eyeglasses were Benjamin Franklin creating temple pieces and bifocals in the 1800s and Benjamin Martin inventing “Martin’s Margins.”
Today’s eyeglasses are continuing to evolve as more technology is released each day. While they are no longer considered a symbol of status, those needing glasses have an impressive variety to choose based on their personal preference. Whether you’re looking for a luxury frame with exotic materials or a simple design that doesn’t draw much attention, the choices are seemingly endless. Aside from the many options available to glasses-wearers, a convenient solution is also available: prescription sunglasses. Switching from glasses to sunglasses when going outside is no longer a task as glasses wearers already have vision correction.
Maybe you’ve already been to an eye doctor and have been given a prescription. Perhaps you’ve been experiencing blurry vision at near or far distances. Regardless of the situation, your vision is supposed to be clear and, if it’s not, you likely have a refractive error. A refractive error is an eye disorder that causes your eyes to not clearly focus on surrounding images. Glasses, contacts, and surgery can all correct a refractive error. There are varying types of refractive errors, and during your comprehensive eye exam, your eye care professional will inform you of which refractive error you’ve been diagnosed with.
Objects at a distance are blurry, while those close are clear.
Close objects are blurry, while those at a distance are clear.
Abnormally shaped corneas can cause blurred vision in one or both eyes. A normal cornea is shaped like a sphere, while those with astigmatism have a cornea shaped like a football or egg.
As you age, your vision changes, and many have trouble focusing on close objects like reading or television.
What About Contacts?
Contact lenses started becoming popular in the 1800s when they were invented; however, this vision correction option was initially designed with glass making them very uncomfortable. Over the years, contact lenses have continued to evolve and transform into what we know today. In the 1970s, the first gas-permeable contacts were invented to give wearers ultimate comfort and breathability. If you’ve chosen to wear contacts to correct your vision, there are various options to choose from, such as daily wear and disposables, extended wear, and even bifocal.
Making a Decision
So, your eye doctor has given you a prescription for vision correction, and it’s time for you to choose glasses, contacts, or both. Where do you start? It may seem like making a decision is difficult, especially if you’re new to glasses and contacts. However, everyone is different, both in fashion preferences and lifestyle. There are many factors you can consider to help make the best decision for your unique needs.
- Activity: Consider your activity level and involvement in extracurricular activities when choosing between glasses or contacts. Both vision correction options support an active lifestyle and provide wearers with comfort.
- Convenience: Contacts and glasses are both convenient options for vision correction, but ultimately, your decision is based on your unique lifestyle. Wearers have access to UV-protection features, so moving from inside to outside isn’t uncomfortable.
- Adaptable: Today’s vision correction options have continued to advance over the years and are adaptable to wearers of all refractive errors. Whether you need glasses, contacts, or both, your eye doctor will help you choose the best option for your lifestyle.
- Maintenance: Regular cleaning and disinfecting are required for contacts and glasses to prevent unnecessary wear and tear, ensure you see clearly, and bacteria exposure is minimized. Contact lenses must be disinfected regularly, and glasses wearers are encouraged to wipe the lenses periodically throughout each day.
- Style and Comfort: There are many different options for contacts and glasses wearers available on the market today. Glasses are available in an assortment of shapes, sizes, and colors, so you can choose a pair that best fits your fashion preferences. Contacts are available in many different colors, meaning you can change your eye color each day if you prefer.
- Affordability: If you’ve been given a prescription, there are various glasses and contacts available that range in price. Many eye doctors offer patients a range of options, so you can choose the most affordable vision correction solution for your budget. Contacts and glasses are both affordable, even if one becomes damaged or worn out.
Glasses and Your Face Shape
Did you know that varying glasses styles complement your unique features differently? Choosing the right pair of glasses is extremely important, so you can feel confident and stylish at work, attending an event, or relaxing at home. There are many different face and frame shapes that work together, so if you’re unsure where to begin, we suggest you consult with your eye care professional to identify your face shape. If you’re curious about what your face shape might be, a simple look in the mirror can help you determine as you’ll be able to study your unique features. Regardless of your face shape, there are various styles, sizes, and shapes of frames available for purchase today. Eyeglass wearers can choose from a luxury frame with precious materials or a simple design. But what frames work best for each face shape?
Round and Oval
Do you have soft curves, smooth lines, and a fullness that makes you look younger than you are? If your answer is yes, you have a round face. Frames that offset your face’s uniformity and add subtle sharpness are an excellent option as your glasses frame should highlight your cheekbones and eyes. If you have slightly wider cheekbones than your forehead and jaw, you have an oval face, which is considered a balanced face shape. Frames that are somewhat wider or as wide as your face’s broadest portion are recommended for oval faces as you want to avoid narrow frames.
Heart and Diamond
Have you heard that you have a heart or diamond-shaped face? This may seem like an odd statement as both of these face shapes are unique. A heart-shaped face can be identified by one sweeping curve from your forehead to your jawline, prominent cheekbones, and a pointed chin. Many different frame styles work for individuals with a heart-shaped face, but it’s recommended that you avoid oversized frames or styles with many design elements. Individuals with a diamond-shaped face are narrow at your forehead and jawline, while your cheekbones are broad and high. Frames that have many design elements or bold brow lines are recommended as they help soften your face’s harsh angles.
- Rounded Square
- Rimless or Semi-Rimless
- Rounded Wayfarer
Do you have a strong jaw and broad forehead? If so, this is called a square-shaped face. If you’re unsure whether you have a square face, it can also be identified by the top and bottom of your face being almost equal. Frames that sit high on your nose and add length are recommended for a square-shaped face as this will help your face look thinner and more elongated.
- Rounded Wayfarer
What About My Other Features?
Finding an eyeglass design that works with your features is vital, especially if you wear them every day. Aside from determining the shape of your face and learning, which glasses shapes work best for you, individuals needing eyeglasses are encouraged to consider skin tone, eye color, and hair color. While these details may not seem important, colors complement one another differently, and the incorrect choice could be distracting. Whether you have bright blue eyes, a warm or cool skin tone, or recently decided to go gray, there is an eyeglass design out there that will fit your unique features perfectly.
Advancements in the Eyeglass Industry Will Continue
The progression of both eyeglasses and contacts is impressive, especially to see where the industry is today. Technological advancements and varying designs will continue to be released as industry experts attempt to make eye care and eyewear comfortable and convenient for all. Here at Art of Optiks, we keep up with the latest industry trends and news, so you always receive the highest quality of care possible. Whether you’re new to the area or are scheduling a comprehensive eye exam for the first time, we guarantee our award-winning doctors and style experts can help you find a vision correction option you enjoy.