Contact lenses have come a long way since the first innovators began experimenting with glass in the late 1800s. While the first idea for contacts dates all the way back to Leondardo Da Vinci in 1508, long-term use and comfortable, breathable lenses weren’t introduced until the 1960s and ‘70s, when plastic polymers started being used to create soft lenses.
The plastic polymers used in soft contact lenses allow oxygen to pass through, and several advances have been made in synthetic polymers since their initial introduction to market.
Yet another use of petroleum in our daily lives. Hundreds of millions of contact lens wearers are actually wearing petroleum in their eyes.
Below a Youtube video from Discovery’s How it’s Made: Soft Contact Lenses.