How has eye care evolved over the last century?

The field of ophthalmology has an interesting history. From the very early work the ancient Egyptians and Greeks carried out, to the rapid advances of the 18th and 19th centuries, it has enabled people to receive effective corrective treatment for their eyesight. As with most fields within the healthcare profession, ophthalmology is constantly advancing to provide better care for the people treated.

This constant quest for knowledge has seen eye care over the last 100 years progress in leaps and bounds. Although the ground-breaking ophthalmoscope of the mid-19th Century was a real game changer, the eye care sector did not begin to make major new strides again until the last century or so.

But just what has happened over that period to drive eye care forward into exciting new times?

Eye care evolution from the last century

Ophthalmology has developed enormously over the past 100 years. The sector looks quite different now from in the past and provides services in a more positive, patient friendly way. Here are some of the major ways it has changed in that time.

Greater understanding of eye issues – over the last century there have been many advances in the understanding of common eye issues and how to remedy them. From Charles D Kelman who developed lens implants for use in cataract surgery in 1975, to Sir Harold Ridley who researched and created the intraocular lens in 1950, there has been much investigation into common eye care problems and how to best combat them. That is great news for the patients who now have many more effective treatments open to them.

More specialism within eye care – one change that the last 100 years has seen is the practice of healthcare professionals within ophthalmology specializing in certain areas. An example is Dr Rohit Varma who led the charge in developing a greater understanding of glaucoma. Specializing in one area of eye care allows experts like Dr Varma the opportunity to spend more time researching that one condition to help drive progress more quickly.

Modern day procedures have evolved – the end result of all this research and sub-specialism is that the treatments for common eye conditions have changed for the better now. Compared to 100 years ago, what can be done now and how it can be done is much more advanced. Treatments like corneal transplants are a great example of this and were first developed by Dr Ramon Castroviejo in 1941. Modern eye care surgery now uses minimally invasive techniques with shorter recovery times. That is much better for patients than the less advanced techniques used previously.

More advanced equipment available now – the last century has certainly seen the equipment used in eye care evolve for the better. Where there was once the basic ophthalmoscope, there are now much more advanced retinal imagine machines to use when testing eyesight. Treatments for eye issues have also evolved for the better – machines that use laser technology to correct eyesight and disposable contact lenses being examples.

More emphasis on eye education – as the knowledge within ophthalmology has increased over the last century so has the flow of this to the public. We now are much more aware of our eyesight and the importance of taking care of it during our daily lives than ever before. Regular eye tests for the public are now common and the eye care sector is promoting the importance of what it does more vigorously than ever.

Agile global solutions – one modern shift for eye care has been the desire to make it accessible to those anywhere in the world who need it. The eye care industry has therefore developed agile solutions like mobile testing kits and cheap glasses to achieve that goal. Contemporary eye care is not only about ensuring the local community can access it but also those in poorer countries on the other side of the world.

Eye care is more fashionable now

Look around at any of the big stars from the music world for example and you will see plenty wearing glasses. Some wear them for the fashionable look they give, even if they do not need them to correct their sight! That shows that one of the major changes for eye care in recent times is that it is now considered cool and a way to show off your individuality.

Last century has seen much change

The last 100 years has certainly seen lots of change within the eye care profession. From how it is viewed by the public to how the sector itself has advanced, it really has come a long way. This is naturally a positive thing and something that is too be applauded. Where it will be in another 100 years is anyone’s guess!