How Important Is Access to Corrective Lenses?

Think about how different life would be if you couldn’t easily read from a computer screen, or fill out a job application, or even order food at a restaurant. In relatively wealthy nations, vision problems can usually be solved with an eye exam and corrective lenses. But there are 2.5 billion people, mainly in the developing world, who live with poor vision due to lack of access to eye care and affordable glasses. According to different estimates, the lack of corrective lenses costs the world economy anywhere from $227 billion to $3 trillion USD a year in lost productivity. In many cases, access to affordable glasses does not exist, even though manufacturing costs can be as little as $1 USD a pair.

A brief history of eyeglasses:

  • It is believed that the first eyeglasses were constructed in northern Italy around 1290, based on the writings of Dominican friar Giordano da Pisa. Early glasses were made with convex lenses, and corrected for farsightedness.

  • Early frames consisted of two magnifying glasses riveted together at the handles, a configuration that allowed the handles to straddle the nose.

  • Benjamin Franklin has been credited with inventing bifocals in the mid-1700s, and the first lenses for correcting astigmatism were developed by British astronomer George Airy in 1825.

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More Info: Forbes

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