The history of glasses | Evolution and types

The emergence and spread of spectacles took place slowly in Europe until the Renaissance period. However, during the Renaissance, the design and use of eyeglasses became widespread thanks to advances in science and technology.

History of glasses

Glasses are an indispensable part of our lives nowadays. Be it sunglasses or dioptric lenses, it is a tool used by almost everyone. However, the history of glasses is quite old. The first appearance of glasses dates back about a thousand years.

The emergence of glasses is described by Seneca, who lived during the Roman Empire in the 1st century AD. Seneca noted that vision was sharpened by submerging small water-filled rough crystal balls. However, this technique was only developed with the advent of glasses.

The first designs of glasses were made by the Italians in the 13th century. These designs use two pieces of crystal attached to each other. These pieces were placed on the eye to clarify vision. Crystal glass was used as the material for the first glasses. Crystal glass was later replaced by glass, a more durable material similar to glass.

The first glasses wearers are usually monks and scholars who read for a long time. These people started using glasses because of eye strain and zoom problems. Glasses were originally only used for near vision. The invention of bifocal glasses to correct distance vision occurred later.

Evolution of eyewear

History of glasses

The history of eyewear is quite old and the design and areas of use have changed over time. The evolution of eyewear has gone through many different stages, from primitive designs to modern technologies.

The evolution of eyewear began with the first designs used in Italy in the 13th century. Early designs used two pieces of crystal attached together. These pieces were placed on the eye to clarify vision. Crystal glass was used as the material for the first glasses. Crystal glass was later replaced by glass, a more durable material similar to glass.

Eyewear designs developed rapidly in Europe in the 16th century. Glasses frames have become more elegant and lighter. In the same period, the areas of use of eyewear also expanded. Glasses, previously only used for people with zoom problems, were later used for eye conditions such as nearsightedness and farsightedness.

The invention of bifocal glasses took place in the 17th century. Bifocals had a design with upper corrections for farsighted people and lower corrections for nearsighted people. Trifocal glasses were developed later and included three different correction zones.

The 18th century saw a major transformation in eyewear. In the 1930s, spectacle frames were plasticized. As a result, the glasses have become lighter and more durable. Contact lenses were also invented around the same time. Contact lenses have become an alternative to glasses.

Today, eyeglasses are still widely used and have become more functional due to technological advancements. Lenses with different coatings can filter the sun’s rays or block blue light. Some glasses are integrated with electronic technologies, for example, smart glasses have a real-time imaging function.

Glass types

History of glasses

Glasses are a tool that has been used for centuries to make life easier for people with vision problems. The history of eyewear is quite old and their designs and areas of use have changed over time. There are many different types of glasses available today and each type has a different function.

Single glasses

Single vision glasses are the most commonly used type of glasses to correct eye conditions. It offers solutions for problems such as farsightedness, nearsightedness and astigmatism. These types of glasses use a single focal point and allow focusing at a distance or close range.

Double focus glasses

Dual focus glasses are designed to provide clear vision at both near and far. There are varieties called bifocal or trifocal. It uses two different focal lengths and the lenses have different focal lengths on the top and bottom.

Progressive glasses

Progressive glasses are glasses that can switch between different focal lengths instead of a single focal point. Therefore, they provide a clear view at far, medium and short distances. Unlike progressive, bifocal or trifocal glasses, there is no visible dotted line between the lenses.


Sunglasses are glasses used to protect against the sun’s rays. Sunglasses are coated with special lenses to protect them from the harmful effects of UV rays. In addition, the sunglasses are also produced with polarized lenses, reducing reflections and providing clearer vision.

Sports glasses

Sports glasses are glasses specially designed to improve the performance of athletes. These goggles are usually made of rubber or similar materials and have a non-slip design. It is also produced with polarized lenses such as sunglasses, reducing reflections and providing clearer vision.

The future of eyewear

History of glasses

Glasses have been used for centuries as a tool that offers solutions to people’s vision problems. However, with the rapid advancement of technology, eyeglasses are also getting better and it seems that they will reach even more advanced levels in the future.

Smart glasses

Smart devices such as wearable technologies have become a part of our lives. This trend also led to the development of smart glasses. Smart glasses are equipped with both image and connectivity features. These features allow users to read messages, make calls and even connect to the internet without holding their phone.

Augmented Reality glasses

Augmented reality technology is a technology that combines the real world with virtual objects and information. Augmented reality glasses combine the real world with augmented reality, allowing users to see the world from a wider perspective. These types of glasses are specially designed for use in sectors such as education, business and industry.

Self-adjusting glasses

Today, spectacle lenses have only one focal point. But in the future, lenses may feature self-adjusting technology. This technology allows the glasses to automatically adjust the focus point to the needs of the wearer.

Bionic goggles

Bionic technology develops technologies that mimic the functions of the body. Bionic glasses can help people with vision problems by mimicking the functions of the human eye. These types of glasses are designed to correct visual impairments and help people see more clearly and accurately.

Glasses produced with 3D printers

3D printing technology is gradually becoming more common. This technology can be used especially in the manufacture of custom eyewear. Glasses produced with 3D printers can be designed in a more affordable and personalized way.

When were glasses invented?

The exact date of the invention of glasses is not known. However, it is believed to be first mentioned in Chinese inscriptions from the 13th century. In the 14th century, the first versions of modern spectacles were made in Italy by combining glass lenses with a frame.

Why is the invention of glasses important?

The invention of glasses changed the worldview and improved people’s quality of life. It has provided an important form of treatment for people with eye problems, helping people work, read and do other daily activities more comfortably.

Who should prefer to use glasses?

Glasses can be beneficial for anyone with vision problems. Especially those who have refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, those who experience age-related vision changes such as presbyopia, those who have had eye problems or those who feel tired for any other reason can wear glasses.

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