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Fun Glasses Facts that’ll Make Your Eyes Pop Out Your Head

What fun facts could there possibly be about glasses, right? Wrong! Below you’ll find some interesting eyewear trivia that’ll amaze you – and one of the facts involves actual pirates. Let’s dive in.

Vision Correcting Devices Were Invented Longer Ago than You Think

It’s thought that the very first device, specifically used to correct vision, was deployed around 1000 AD by the Romans and was known as a reading stone. It was, in essence, a glass sphere that acted as a magnifying glass, allowing the user to read more easily.

When it comes to sunglasses, these were invented in China around the 12th century – flat, smokey crystals were mounted on makeshift frames to protect wearers against the sun’s glare. It’s also been suggested that judges of the period used this type of eyewear to prevent giving away their emotions.

Early Glasses Were Super Uncomfortable

What are considered to be the first ‘wearable’ eyeglasses were invented in Italy in 1284. The frames were made from natural materials, such as copper, wood, leather, and even bone. Glass lenses were set into these frames, which tended to be very heavy, and couldn’t be comfortably worn for an extended period. Or even a short period.

These early glasses were propped on the nose bridge or simply kept in place by the wearer’s hand.

Benjamin Franklin Helped Invent Bifocal Specs

Nowadays, if you want to buy a pair of bifocals, you simply browse a range of glasses online and put the eyewear you need in your virtual shopping basket – done. However, in the USA of the 1700s, bifocals hadn’t even been invented yet…until Benjamin Franklin came along and figured out that it was impossible for someone suffering from both myopia and hypertropia to see clearly from a single set of spectacles lenses.

Taking matters into his own hands, Franklin cut the different lenses of two pairs of glasses in half, reassembled them into a new frame, and effectively invented the bifocal!

Around 4 Billion People Wear Glasses

Approximately 64% of the global population wears glasses, which equals around four billion people. Gender-wise, more women wear eyeglasses than men, with twenty-eight million folk relying on over-the-counter reading glasses.

Astigmatism is the menace of those who wear glasses to correct their vision, with more than a third of glasses-wearers having been diagnosed with this condition at some point in their life.

Wearing Your Friend’s Glasses Won’t Damage Your Eyesight

We’ve all heard a version of this one: that wearing someone else’s specs, even for a short time, could damage your eyesight due to differences in prescription. This isn’t actually the case, but it probably won’t be a very pleasant experience, and you could well develop a headache as a result of commandeering your friend’s eyewear.

However – there is one important exception to this: if a child wears someone else’s glasses, this could increase their risk of developing amblyopia, otherwise known as ‘lazy eye.’

Sunglasses Can Make You More Attractive

If you need even more reasons to love your designer shades, how about this one: wearing sunglasses actually makes your face more attractive! Attractiveness has been proven to be connected to facial symmetry, and therefore wearing, effectively, two symmetrical shapes on either side of your eyes increases your face’s overall symmetry and therefore adds to your natural allure!

We’re Clumsy with Our Specs

On average, a pair of glasses gets broken every fourteen minutes in the US, which equals around 37,000 pairs getting busted every year. Why do all these breakages occur? Well, some of the most common ways disaster strikes is due to glasses falling off after being balanced on the top of the head, being crushed as a result of being in a pocket, and, of course, not checking a seat before sitting down.

Having 20/20 Vision Doesn’t Necessarily Equal Perfect Eyesight

If someone has 20/20 vision, this means that they have excellent central vision. However, it doesn’t necessarily follow that someone with great central vision also has perfect night vision, peripheral vision, or color vision. It’s also important to remember that some eye conditions, like glaucoma, can take a long time to develop, and while it may take some time for them to manifest symptoms, they could still be causing damage to the inner eye.

Glasses and Gold

It’s long been held that wearing gold earrings and glasses at the same time can improve vision more than just wearing eyeglasses alone. This belief can be traced back to pirates who typically wore a single hooped golden earring, thinking that the special properties of the metal had the power to heal degenerating vision.

But there may just be some serious science at play here. Acupuncturists claim that there’s a pressure point on the earlobe that’s connected to eyesight, and some of those who’ve had an ear piercing have reported a temporary improvement in their vision.

They’re Not Really ‘Glasses’

And finally – although spectacles used to be made of glass, now the lenses are made from high-tech plastic materials. The main reasons for the switch include the relative lightness of plastic as opposed to solid glass and also the fact that the former can be developed to block harmful UV rays from the sun.

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