A healthy eye looking at the pages of history.
Ophthalmology, as a medical field we often associate with the selection of contact lenses and eyepieces, as well as laser treatments, so a very modern image of this specialization.
However, looking at the history of medicine, this part of medical science has a very varied and rich history. By reading old manuscripts and works of art, you can meet descriptions of the first ophthalmic surgeries already in the old days. In the Hammurabi Code there is a description of tear bag abscess removal, and in antiquity the first medicine tried to correct vision defects. In Greece, the idea of lenses was born from the observation of spherical vessels filled with water, which enlarge objects in front of them, and in "Quo vadis" you can read how Neron used emerald lenses to watch the battles in the Colosseum.
As for the history of ophthalmology in ancient Rome, the most outstanding surgeon was Antillo. Antilloos was able to operate the cataract by pushing it deep into the eyeball, which was unprecedented at that time. In China the first glasses were invented, which quickly became known in other countries, but also in India at that time ophthalmic medicine was appreciated and widely used.
The description of the glasses was imported or invented in Europe at the turn of the 12th and 14th centuries. It is not known whether they were imported from China, although some sources say that Marco Polo himself brought them from there in 1270, but this has not been proved in one hundred per cent. In Europe, the oldest surviving glasses date back to the fifteenth century, and this is the most probable period of the first glasses designs on our continent.
The first operation in modern times was performed by Georg Bartisch of Germany in 1583. During the operation the doctor removed the eyeball of a cancer patient. At that time, however, ophthalmology was not a separate medical science, but belonged to surgery and general medicine. Ophthalmology did not exist until the end of the 18th century, when the first lectures in this field, initiated by Rafał Józef Czerwiakowski, began. In 1823 the first Ophthalmic Institute was established in Poland, founded by Wiktor Feliks Szokalski in Warsaw.
It was the first renowned Polish ophthalmologist, famous for its achievements in Poland and abroad. In 1827, the first cylindrical glasses designed by Georg Biddell Aira were made in the British Isles. As early as 1784, Benjamin Franklin constructed the first bifocal glasses, which contributed to the development of this field in the USA. In Poland in the 1930s the production of spectacle lenses began in Katowice, which before the war was called IWOKA, and after the war was changed to OPTA. In the twentieth century the rapid development of this field of medicine and related technologies can already be observed. Laser eye correction methods have been developed, which has significantly improved the quality of life of many patients.