When were Glasses invented

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When were Glasses invented?

Have you ever wondered when were glasses invented and who had the genius idea of creating them? This article is about the history of glasses, who invented them, and how they slowly developed into what they are now.

When were the first glasses invented – The early stages 

Optical devices were in use back in 1000 A.D. In Ancient Rome, Seneca is believed to have read “all the books of Rome” using a glass globe of water as a magnifier, while monks in the Middle Ages were said to use glass spheres as magnifying glasses to read.

Sources are unclear on when glasses were developed and by whom; some credit the invention to Salvino D’Armate; his epitaph in the Santa Maria Maggiore church in Florence referred to him as the “inventor of spectacles.” Others, on the other hand, credit the invention to Friar Alessandro Della Spina of Pisa. While it seems evident that glasses were invented somewhere in Italy, it’s hard to name the exact inventor. 

The first-ever glass frames were created in Venice. The city is well-known for welcoming the most talented glass blowers. Frames were made of bone, leather, or metal, and these glasses were used to magnify words and help during reading.

The first evidence for eyeglasses is Tommaso da Modena’s 1352 portrait of cardinal Hugh de Provence reading in a scriptorium. While it would have been impossible for the cardinal to use eyeglasses (he lived way before glasses were invented), the painting proves that in the mid 13hudreds, glasses were already ordinary and used by cardinals. 

Who invented the eyeglasses, and how were glasses made

The invention of printing and the distribution of more and more books led to a higher demand for prescription glasses: people needed better vision and help to read. The most significant developments around glasses started happening during the 17th century. Most importantly,  glasses slowly transitioned from just magnifying words to correcting vision. 

Here are the most significant steps in the development of glasses: 

  • In the 1600s: concave lenses are invented to improve distance vision
  • 1727: temples finally make their appearance thanks to optician Edward Scarlett, making glasses more structured and stable on the face 
  • 1784: Benjamin Franklin invents the bifocals dividing lenses into two zones: one for distance vision, one for near vision 
  • 1827: Thomas Young discovers astigmatism and later invents cylindrical lenses that are now used to correct it
  • 1959: Bernard Maitenaz invents progressive lenses, giving up on the line that used to divide bifocal lenses 
  • 1950-60: hard plastic contact lenses are being used and become more common

During the 19th & 20th centuries, the development of eyewear continues, and glasses are constantly redesigned with thinner lenses and different frame designs. Glasses today are made with lightweight materials, such as plastic or metal, to ensure comfort and durability; this was not the case many years ago, as lenses were made with heavy glass, and frames were made of leather or bone.

When did eyeglasses become common?

At the beginning of the 19th century, glasses were still handcrafted and not accessible to everyone. Not only were they scarcely produced, but because of their handmade nature, they were costly and only available to wealthy families.  

However, the industrial revolution was just around the corner, making it much simpler for working men and women to get the necessary eye correction. Thanks to the mass manufacture of both frames and lenses, these became more available, giving more people a chance to have better vision and good eye health.  

Today, with increasing screen exposure, taking care of your eyes and having good vision is crucial! When buying glasses, options are infinite, and choosing the best one can feel overwhelming. You can either visit stores in your area or head online to websites like SmartBuyGlasses, where you can filter through different price ranges, brands, colours, and materials. The best part is that you don’t have to break the bank to have a good pair of eyewear to help you see better! 

At SmartBuyGlasses, we believe everyone should benefit from good vision; this is why you can choose between many affordable options and get prescription glasses delivered to your door within days.

What if glasses were never invented

Considering up to 75% of the adult population needs vision correction, most would not be seeing correctly if glasses were never invented. Glasses not being invented would mean most of the world’s population would be suffering from everything that comes with needing proper eye care. This could also result in dangerous situations as good vision is extremely important for daily activities like driving or crucial jobs like operating surgery. 

As much as we would love to believe that eyewear is now accessible to everyone worldwide and is not a privilege, that is still not the case. 

SmartBuyGlasses’ mission is to help people see and be healthy regardless of their budget; this is why we joined forces with other exclusive brands that share this vision. One of those is Arise Collective, a global eyewear brand featuring sustainably made frames and has a partnership with 1% for the Planet to support global environmental and social causes.

Considering all the progress made in the last 800 years since glasses were invented, we hope to make even more progress and make eyecare accessible to everyone worldwide.

Ask the Optician

ASK NOW

When were Glasses invented?

Have you ever wondered when were glasses invented and who had the genius idea of creating them? This article is about the history of glasses, who invented them, and how they slowly developed into what they are now.

When were the first glasses invented – The early stages 

Optical devices were in use back in 1000 A.D. In Ancient Rome, Seneca is believed to have read “all the books of Rome” using a glass globe of water as a magnifier, while monks in the Middle Ages were said to use glass spheres as magnifying glasses to read.

Sources are unclear on when glasses were developed and by whom; some credit the invention to Salvino D’Armate; his epitaph in the Santa Maria Maggiore church in Florence referred to him as the “inventor of spectacles.” Others, on the other hand, credit the invention to Friar Alessandro Della Spina of Pisa. While it seems evident that glasses were invented somewhere in Italy, it’s hard to name the exact inventor. 

The first-ever glass frames were created in Venice. The city is well-known for welcoming the most talented glass blowers. Frames were made of bone, leather, or metal, and these glasses were used to magnify words and help during reading

The first evidence for eyeglasses is Tommaso da Modena’s 1352 portrait of cardinal Hugh de Provence reading in a scriptorium. While it would have been impossible for the cardinal to use eyeglasses (he lived way before glasses were invented), the painting proves that in the mid 13hudreds, glasses were already ordinary and used by cardinals.

Who invented the eyeglasses, and how were glasses made

The invention of printing and the distribution of more and more books led to a higher demand for prescription glasses: people needed better vision and help to read. The most significant developments around glasses started happening during the 17th century. Most importantly, 

glasses slowly transitioned from just magnifying words to correcting vision. 

Here are the most significant steps in the development of glasses: 

  • In the 1600s: concave lenses are invented to improve distance vision
  • 1727: temples finally make their appearance thanks to optician Edward Scarlett, making glasses more structured and stable on the face 
  • 1784: Benjamin Franklin invents the bifocals dividing lenses into two zones: one for distance vision, one for near vision 
  • 1827: Thomas Young discovers astigmatism and later invents cylindrical lenses that are now used to correct it
  • 1959: Bernard Maitenaz invents progressive lenses, giving up on the line that used to divide bifocal lenses
  • 1950-60: hard plastic contact lenses are being used and become more common

During the 19th & 20th centuries, the development of eyewear continues, and glasses are constantly redesigned with thinner lenses and different frame designs. Glasses today are made with lightweight materials, such as plastic or metal, to ensure comfort and durability; this was not the case many years ago, as lenses were made with heavy glass, and frames were made of leather or bone.

When did eyeglasses become common?

At the beginning of the 19th century, glasses were still handcrafted and not accessible to everyone. Not only were they scarcely produced, but because of their handmade nature, they were costly and only available to wealthy families.  

However, the industrial revolution was just around the corner, making it much simpler for working men and women to get the necessary eye correction. Thanks to the mass manufacture of both frames and lenses, these became more available, giving more people a chance to have better vision and good eye health.  

Today, with increasing screen exposure, taking care of your eyes and having good vision is crucial! When buying glasses, options are infinite, and choosing the best one can feel overwhelming. You can either visit stores in your area or head online to websites like SmartBuyGlasses, where you can filter through different price ranges, brands, colours, and materials. The best part is that you don’t have to break the bank to have a good pair of eyewear to help you see better!

At SmartBuyGlasses, we believe everyone should benefit from good vision; this is why you can choose between many affordable options and get prescription glasses delivered to your door within days.

What if glasses were never invented

Considering up to 75% of the adult population needs vision correction, most would not be seeing correctly if glasses were never invented. Glasses not being invented would mean most of the world’s population would be suffering from everything that comes with needing proper eye care. This could also result in dangerous situations as good vision is extremely important for daily activities like driving or crucial jobs like operating surgery. 

As much as we would love to believe that eyewear is now accessible to everyone worldwide and is not a privilege, that is still not the case. 

SmartBuyGlasses’ mission is to help people see and be healthy regardless of their budget; this is why we joined forces with other exclusive brands that share this vision. One of those is Arise Collective, a global eyewear brand featuring sustainably made frames and has a partnership with 1% for the Planet to support global environmental and social causes.

Considering all the progress made in the last 800 years since glasses were invented, we hope to make even more progress and make eyecare accessible to everyone worldwide.

Nighttime Driving Glasses

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Nighttime Driving Glasses

For many, driving at night poses no problems. But for some, driving at night can sometimes be stressful and even dangerous. Compromised vision combined with low levels of natural light or sensitivity to bright lights when driving may make you want to stay off the road at night. Nighttime driving glasses exist, and many people use them, but do they work? 

Many people have reduced vision in low light, especially older people. You may need twice as much light at 50 to see as well as you did when you were 30. Glare from headlights and traffic is one of the biggest issues that affect night driving. This glare can affect colour recognition, depth perception and peripheral vision.

What are night driving glasses?

Nighttime driving glasses are glasses with yellow-tinted lenses, usually non-prescription and can be purchased over the counter. They often have some kind of anti-reflective coating to help minimise reflections and filter out blue light from streetlights and oncoming headlights. Blue light is most likely to cause glare when it enters the eye. 

Nighttime driving glasses are similar to the glasses that some people wear for hunting and other sports. They have been found to increase the contrast of objects against an overcast sky, which may help detect objects in an unclear environment. 

Factors that make it harder to see at night 

Certain eye conditions may make it harder to see well at night and, therefore, may affect your driving. 

  1. Nyctalopia: also called night blindness, is a combination of vision problems that occur at night, including difficulty adjusting to dim and bright lights.
  2. Myopia: also known as nearsightedness, may make it harder to see in low-light conditions. 
  3. Glaucoma: when fluid builds up in the eye and damages the optic nerve, reducing peripheral vision.  
  4. Astigmatism: an irregularly shaped cornea that may cause blurry vision and worsen when driving in low light conditions.
  5. Diabetes: can damage nerves and blood vessels in the retina, which may lead to difficulty adjusting vision in different light settings. 
  6. Vitamin Deficiency: vitamin A helps to produce pigments that assist your retina in processing images correctly. A deficiency may cause night vision problems. 
  7. Cataracts: a condition that can result in blurry vision; cataracts may also cause light from traffic or headlights to dominate your field of vision and appear as a halo or glare.

These conditions do not always lead to difficulty driving at night. If you have a concern, start by scheduling an eye exam with your eye doctor to discuss options that are right for you. 

Nighttime driving glasses to reduce glare

Nighttime driving glasses are designed to reduce glare by scattering and filtering blue light. Blue light, a part of the light spectrum, has the shortest wavelength and the largest amount of energy. Blue light is more likely to cause glare when it enters the eye.

While nighttime driving glasses may reduce glare for some, some research suggests drivers are better off without them. Ophthalmologist Andrew Iwach has discussed his doubts and said that tinted lenses used in night vision glasses are designed to limit or reduce the amount of light getting to the eye. According to Dr. Iwach, anything that does this at night will make it harder to see. 

Adding an anti-glare coating to your prescription or non-prescription lenses might be a safer choice. This coating reduces reflections from appearing on your eyeglass or sunglass lenses. Without reflections, more light can reach your eyes, improving your vision. With the addition of this coating to your lenses, your vision in the dark may improve, making this a good option if you find nighttime driving difficult. 

Do night driving glasses work? 

As mentioned above, night driving glasses have received mixed reviews. Some wearers claim that they can see better while driving at night, but researchers are not so sure. Researchers conducted a study to determine whether night driving glasses provided any visual benefit for nighttime driving. According to the results, the data suggested that wearing yellow-lens glasses when driving at night does not improve performance in the most critical task: detecting pedestrians. In fact, “these findings do not appear to support having eye care professionals advise patients to use yellow-lens night-driving glasses,” the authors concluded.

Are there prescription glasses for driving at night?

Standard nighttime driving glasses are usually sold over the counter without a prescription. If you wear prescription glasses and have trouble driving at night, consider wearing them while driving. It is recommended that you speak to your eye doctor to better make an educated decision about driving and finding the right option for you and your eyes. 

The best glasses for driving at night  

There might not be a one-size-fits-all pair of nighttime driving glasses. The best pair for you will depend on your overall eye health, needs and preference. 

Apart from eyewear, anything that reduces blurriness or glare will help with night driving vision. Here are some other elements which may help improve eyesight while driving:

  1. Clean your eyeglasses and keep them free of smudges, as they can amplify glare
  2. Clean the inside and outside of your windshield; dirt and dust can make it harder to see
  3. Replace your windshield wipers regularly 
  4. Keep your dashboard lights dim to avoid eye strain 

Don’t let the wrong eyewear keep you off the road at night. Protect yourself and others by finding the best solution for you. Always keep your prescriptions up-to-date, consult with your optometrist and visit our Optical Centre to speak with one of our opticians.

Ask the Optician

ASK NOW

Nighttime Driving Glasses

For many, driving at night poses no problems. But for some, driving at night can sometimes be stressful and even dangerous. Compromised vision combined with low levels of natural light or sensitivity to bright lights when driving may make you want to stay off the road at night. Nighttime driving glasses exist, and many people use them, but do they work? 

Many people have reduced vision in low light, especially older people. You may need twice as much light at 50 to see as well as you did when you were 30. Glare from headlights and traffic is one of the biggest issues that affect night driving. This glare can affect colour recognition, depth perception and peripheral vision.

What are night driving glasses?

Nighttime driving glasses are glasses with yellow-tinted lenses, usually non-prescription and can be purchased over the counter. They often have some kind of anti-reflective coating to help minimise reflections and filter out blue light from streetlights and oncoming headlights. Blue light is most likely to cause glare when it enters the eye. 

Nighttime driving glasses are similar to the glasses that some people wear for hunting and other sports. They have been found to increase the contrast of objects against an overcast sky, which may help detect objects in an unclear environment. 

Factors that make it harder to see at night 

Certain eye conditions may make it harder to see well at night and, therefore, may affect your driving. 

  1. Nyctalopia: also called night blindness, is a combination of vision problems that occur at night, including difficulty adjusting to dim and bright lights.
  2. Myopia: also known as nearsightedness, may make it harder to see in low-light conditions. 
  3. Glaucoma: when fluid builds up in the eye and damages the optic nerve, reducing peripheral vision.  
  4. Astigmatism: an irregularly shaped cornea that may cause blurry vision and worsen when driving in low light conditions.
  5. Diabetes: can damage nerves and blood vessels in the retina, which may lead to difficulty adjusting vision in different light settings. 
  6. Vitamin Deficiency: vitamin A helps to produce pigments that assist your retina in processing images correctly. A deficiency may cause night vision problems. 
  7. Cataracts: a condition that can result in blurry vision; cataracts may also cause light from traffic or headlights to dominate your field of vision and appear as a halo or glare.

These conditions do not always lead to difficulty driving at night. If you have a concern, start by scheduling an eye exam with your eye doctor to discuss options that are right for you. 

Nighttime driving glasses to reduce glare

Nighttime driving glasses are designed to reduce glare by scattering and filtering blue light. Blue light, a part of the light spectrum, has the shortest wavelength and the largest amount of energy. Blue light is more likely to cause glare when it enters the eye.

While nighttime driving glasses may reduce glare for some, some research suggests drivers are better off without them. Ophthalmologist Andrew Iwach has discussed his doubts and said that tinted lenses used in night vision glasses are designed to limit or reduce the amount of light getting to the eye. According to Dr. Iwach, anything that does this at night will make it harder to see. 

Adding an anti-glare coating to your prescription or non-prescription lenses might be a safer choice. This coating reduces reflections from appearing on your eyeglass or sunglass lenses. Without reflections, more light can reach your eyes, improving your vision. With the addition of this coating to your lenses, your vision in the dark may improve, making this a good option if you find nighttime driving difficult. 

Do night driving glasses work? 

As mentioned above, night driving glasses have received mixed reviews. Some wearers claim that they can see better while driving at night, but researchers are not so sure. Researchers conducted a study to determine whether night driving glasses provided any visual benefit for nighttime driving. According to the results, the data suggested that wearing yellow-lens glasses when driving at night does not improve performance in the most critical task: detecting pedestrians. In fact, “these findings do not appear to support having eye care professionals advise patients to use yellow-lens night-driving glasses,” the authors concluded.

Are there prescription glasses for driving at night?

Standard nighttime driving glasses are usually sold over the counter without a prescription. If you wear prescription glasses and have trouble driving at night, consider wearing them while driving. It is recommended that you speak to your eye doctor to better make an educated decision about driving and finding the right option for you and your eyes. 

The best glasses for driving at night  

There might not be a one-size-fits-all pair of nighttime driving glasses. The best pair for you will depend on your overall eye health, needs and preference. 

Apart from eyewear, anything that reduces blurriness or glare will help with night driving vision. Here are some other elements which may help improve eyesight while driving:

  1. Clean your eyeglasses and keep them free of smudges, as they can amplify glare
  2. Clean the inside and outside of your windshield; dirt and dust can make it harder to see
  3. Replace your windshield wipers regularly 
  4. Keep your dashboard lights dim to avoid eye strain 

Don’t let the wrong eyewear keep you off the road at night. Protect yourself and others by finding the best solution for you. Always keep your prescriptions up-to-date, consult with your optometrist and visit our Optical Centre to speak with one of our opticians.

How Much Are Prescription Glasses?

How much are prescription glasses

Buying new prescription glasses can look like a long and complicated process, especially with so many options on the market. If you’re unsure of how much are prescription glasses and how much you should spend on a good, long-lasting pair of prescription eyewear, keep reading this article. We’ll give you all the information you need to make the best and most convenient purchase for you.

Average cost of eyeglasses

Glasses can be quite expensive; the average cost varies from state to state and can go from 50$ to 200$. There are many variables regarding glasses prices, the first being the frames, the second being the lenses, and the lens coatings. When choosing lenses, standard ones tend to be the less expensive, while Transitions® are more costly. 



The same goes for lens coatings; based on your daily activities, you might need an anti-reflecting coating or blue light block, which will affect the final cost of the glasses.

How much do glasses frames cost?

Glasses frames can be very affordable or extremely expensive, depending on your chosen brand. Many affordable brands offer nice and stylish frames at very reasonable prices that make you look good and help you improve your vision. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of designer brands and want something long-lasting, there are brands like Ray-Ban, Gucci, Prada, and many more, that work on creating the most high-end trendy frames. 

 

Another factor to consider when choosing the frames and checking the price is the material: 

  • Acetate frames are solid, hypoallergenic, and flexible, making the glasses extra 
  • comfortable and perfect for all-day wear.
  • Plastic frames are sturdy and have the broadest range of colors. 
  • Metal frames are thin and lightweight but also very durable. You can choose different metals, like stainless steel or titanium. 
  • Wood frames are made with 100% wood, sustainable, stylish, and lightweight. 

Each of these materials has different costs and is used to achieve different results; that’s why it is crucial to understand your needs and choose your frames based on all the factors mentioned above. 

How much should you spend on glasses?

Good vision is essential, which is why quality is the main factor when buying a new pair of prescription glasses. There is no set price you should spend on glasses; it all depends on your budget and your needs. After establishing your budget, you must consider your main requests: either adding a specific lens coating to your lenses or having lightweight frames, and so on.

Affordable glasses vs. expensive

Contrary to popular belief, buying new prescription glasses does not have to be that expensive. Some options can be expensive, but affordable glasses have many benefits. Many affordable options on the market are good quality and long-lasting, like SmartBuy Collection, which offers many stylish and sleek frames and allows adding prescription lenses without breaking the bank.

Where to buy affordable prescription glasses

There are many options, both in-store and online. If you’re looking for new prescription eyewear that won’t require leaving your house and trying on frames in-store, SmartBuyGlasses is a perfect option. You can add your prescription manually or upload a picture, and SBG will do the rest, delivering the glasses to your door within days. If this is your first time buying prescription glasses online, check out our guide on how to buy glasses online.

How much are prescription glasses without insurance

Depending on your country, the cost of prescription glasses without insurance can be pretty high. As mentioned above, there are different factors, such as the cost of frames, lenses, lens coatings, and add-ons. Without vision insurance, the cost can vary from 100 to 300$, depending on different factors.

How much are prescription glasses with insurance

Some vision insurance covers the cost of frames, lenses, and add-ons. To ensure your insurance covers all these features, please consult your insurance provider before making a purchase. Remember, it is necessary to have a valid prescription before buying a new pair of glasses. You will need to book a doctor’s appointment and have a check-up, usually covered by vision insurance.

How much are blue light prescription glasses

The blue light block is one of the many lens coatings that can be added to lenses. This coating is not too expensive. It can be added to your lenses at a variety of price points. If you want to read more about blue light-blocking lenses, you can read our article about them, and if you have any more questions regarding prescription glasses, feel free to reach out to our opticians through our Optical Centre.

Ask the Optician

ASK NOW

How much are prescription glasses

Buying new prescription glasses can look like a long and complicated process, especially with so many options on the market. If you’re unsure of how much are prescription glasses and how much you should spend on a good, long-lasting pair of prescription eyewear, keep reading this article. We’ll give you all the information you need to make the best and most convenient purchase for you.

Average cost of eyeglasses

Glasses can be quite expensive; the average cost varies from state to state and can go from 50$ to 200$. There are many variables regarding glasses prices, the first being the frames, the second being the lenses, and the lens coatings. When choosing lenses, standard ones tend to be the less expensive, while Transitions® are more costly. 



The same goes for lens coatings; based on your daily activities, you might need an anti-reflecting coating or blue light block, which will affect the final cost of the glasses.

How much do glasses frames cost?

Glasses frames can be very affordable or extremely expensive, depending on your chosen brand. Many affordable brands offer nice and stylish frames at very reasonable prices that make you look good and help you improve your vision. On the other hand, if you’re a fan of designer brands and want something long-lasting, there are brands like Ray-Ban, Gucci, Prada, and many more, that work on creating the most high-end trendy frames. 

 

Another factor to consider when choosing the frames and checking the price is the material: 

  • Acetate frames are solid, hypoallergenic, and flexible, making the glasses extra 
  • comfortable and perfect for all-day wear.
  • Plastic frames are sturdy and have the broadest range of colors. 
  • Metal frames are thin and lightweight but also very durable. You can choose different metals, like stainless steel or titanium. 
  • Wood frames are made with 100% wood, sustainable, stylish, and lightweight. 

Each of these materials has different costs and is used to achieve different results; that’s why it is crucial to understand your needs and choose your frames based on all the factors mentioned above.

How much should you spend on glasses?

Good vision is essential, which is why quality is the main factor when buying a new pair of prescription glasses. There is no set price you should spend on glasses; it all depends on your budget and your needs. After establishing your budget, you must consider your main requests: either adding a specific lens coating to your lenses or having lightweight frames, and so on. 

Affordable glasses vs. expensive

Contrary to popular belief, buying new prescription glasses does not have to be that expensive. Some options can be expensive, but affordable glasses have many benefits. Many affordable options on the market are good quality and long-lasting, like SmartBuy Collection, which offers many stylish and sleek frames and allows adding prescription lenses without breaking the bank.

Where to buy affordable prescription glasses

There are many options, both in-store and online. If you’re looking for new prescription eyewear that won’t require leaving your house and trying on frames in-store, SmartBuyGlasses is a perfect option. You can add your prescription manually or upload a picture, and SBG will do the rest, delivering the glasses to your door within days. If this is your first time buying prescription glasses online, check out our guide on how to buy glasses online.

How much are prescription glasses without insurance

Depending on your country, the cost of prescription glasses without insurance can be pretty high. As mentioned above, there are different factors, such as the cost of frames, lenses, lens coatings, and add-ons. Without vision insurance, the cost can vary from 100 to 300$, depending on different factors.

How much are prescription glasses with insurance

Some vision insurance covers the cost of frames, lenses, and add-ons. To ensure your insurance covers all these features, please consult your insurance provider before making a purchase. Remember, it is necessary to have a valid prescription before buying a new pair of glasses. You will need to book a doctor’s appointment and have a check-up, usually covered by vision insurance. 

How much are blue light prescription glasses

The blue light block is one of the many lens coatings that can be added to lenses. This coating is not too expensive. It can be added to your lenses at a variety of price points. If you want to read more about blue light-blocking lenses, you can read our article about them, and if you have any more questions regarding prescription glasses, feel free to reach out to our opticians through our Optical Centre

Ask the Optician

ASK NOW