Glasses, spectacles, monocles, whatever you call them, they were created for one single purpose, the ability to improve the clarity of objects of interest. Ever since the dawn of time, people have been either blessed to have eagle eye vision and earn physical prowess as hunters or have blind-as-a-bat vision and relegated to foraging for food. No doubt since the early days of mankind, vision has been one of the most important senses to possess if man was to be at the top of the food chain. Apex predators from around the world have found a little niche at which nothing can hunt them, the same can be said for humans, except that human beings have dominated the world by sheer numbers and are currently driving unknown numbers of unidentified species of animals extinct unknowingly.
To have been able to achieve this kind of success, human beings will have not only relied on tools like fire and stone, but also the ability to analyze situations and judge whether a particular course of action is beneficial or otherwise. Hence, the ability to see clearly was absolutely indispensable. If you were born in the time before the creation of prescription glasses or roughly before the Renaissance period, you’d have a difficult time participating in a majority of events in life that were bound to be significant in the community. Activities like hunting, sports or even exploration would have not been the strong suit of the visually impaired. In fact a majority of significant community positions such as shamans, soothsayers and early medicine practitioners were for the visually impaired as these didn’t require extremely acute powers of observation.
As time passed on, and more talented and skills human beings studied the phenomenon of optics and light and physics, it was eventually discovered that one could alter the properties of light by passing them through a glass medium such as that of Isaac Newton’s famous portrayal of a ray of white light being scattered into a rainbow in a dark room. One way of applying this new found technology was to use it to improve the clarity of vision by the visually impaired whether they be near sighted or far sighted. Medicine was able to deduce that vision or rather it’s clarity is based upon the properties of light as it passes through the eye in concordance with the physical properties of the person’s eye as well. If the person’s eyeball was too long, then the image projected by the lens unto the retina would fall short and thus result into blurred vision, if the eyeball was too short then the image would be projected way to far too the back, also causing blurred vision. To solve this, glass makers were able to measure the and create convex or concave lenses to alter the properties of light to enable the lens to project the image onto the retina more precisely providing accurate 20/20 vision.
Nowadays, this important body of knowledge is available to anyone who wishes to practice in the field of optometry, which is a profession dedicated to creating prescription glasses to improve the vision of those who suffer such conditions. Your ophthalmologist may even assist you in acquiring prescription glasses if you suffer from constant headaches brought about by the refractive error. One of the most important advances in society is the ability to provide clear vision to an even greater number of the populace than ever before.
Prescription glasses will be able to correct a far range of myopia (near-sightedness) or hyperopia (far-sightedness). Some need minor grades such as grades of -0.75 to even higher one such as -6.00 for myopia suffers and the same goes for hyperopia. It only takes the optometrist as few minutes to determine the optimum grade for each individual eye using a specialized machine that measures how accurate your perception of an object using a standard Snellen Chart. With such improved technologies and greater access to these services, it is a miracle of modern day civilization to provide a better quality of life to its constituents. Indeed, science and technology in the form of prescription glasses has made us more able to adapt to our environment better than ever.