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Contact lenses - Definition


Contact lenses are small lenses that are placed directly on the eye. These can take the place of glasses and improve vision. While Leonard da Vinci may have been the first to come up with this concept, it was a German ophthalmologist called Adolf Eugen Fick who fine-tuned the process in 1887 and created a lens out of blown glass. Though the concept was then abandoned for some years, it came back to the fore of scientific development through the work of American opticians, then the chemist Otto Wichterle, who invented hydrogel in 1961. This polymer, which was undisolvable in water and had flexible yet extremely resistant properties, is still used to create contact lenses today.