How Liquid Glasses Could Provide Clear Vision For 1 Billion People


What is the status of eye care in the developing world?

A huge population in the developing world faces a major problem due to lack of quality eye care. The cost implication on the other hand is way out of reach for the poor population thus affecting the ability to perform their daily chores. Figure out this:

  • A carpenter who is the sole bread-winner in his family but has failing eyesight, how does he put food on the table?
  • How about a taxi driver whose vision is deteriorating, how does he earn a living without any available solution to his eyesight?

These are some of the challenges that face many families in the developing world especially if the sole bread winner is affected. This ultimately leads to reduced productivity which contributes to increased poverty levels. Their eyesight could deteriorate leading to blindness which could have otherwise been prevented. The invention of liquid glasses is finally changing the eye status for those who have poor eyesight for the better without seeking the attention of an optometrist.

What are liquid glasses?

In the world of physics, a mention of liquid glasses is identified with Professor Joshua Silver who made this life changing discovery. It was during his tenure at Oxford University while studying mirrors that he made a breakthrough in changing the curvature of lenses. This enabled him to create corrective lens that could be used to correct poor eyesight of any person without requiring the attention of an optometrist and could be easily adjusted by the wearer. This is what is rightly known as liquid glasses.

But why did Professor Silver design these glasses?

A story is told of how Professor Silver was talking with a colleague on the possibility of adjusting glasses without using any special equipment. This led him through a journey of searching for glasses that would cost less than the readily available expensive glasses in the market. He discovered the novel eye glasses which could be worn without the assistance of an optician and cost much cheaper. The discovery was later tested when Professor Joshua Silver met a Ghanaian, Henry Mensah who had poor eyesight. He was fitted with these liquid glasses which changed his sight ability forever and continues to dazzle many across the world especially considering the ingenuity behind this discovery.

How do these type of glasses work?

The lenses of liquid glasses are usually filled with silicon oil which is the protected using plastic discs. The lenses are adjusted by increasing or decreasing the amount of fluid hence changing their curvature which also impacts on their strength. This is based on the fact that as the thickness of lenses increases so does the strength of the glasses. There are small syringes that are usually attached to the arms with a dial which allows the wearer to change the amount of fluid in the lenses. When the lenses have been adjusted for best vision then they are sealed using a valve while the syringes are removed. It is also important to note that the wearer can independently adjust the strength of each lens. A number of vision related problems such as farsightedness and nearsightedness can be easily corrected as well cases of inability to focus after using these glasses.

The future of liquid glasses

Is it possible to bring these glasses within the reach of the poor? The answer is “yes”, especially considering the efforts Professor Silver is putting in place to give hope and ensuring that the world poor also achieve their dreams. A total number of 30,000 pairs of eye glasses have already been distributed in 15 countries and there are plans to distribute 1 million pairs of these glasses in India by the end of next year. A target of 100 million eye glasses per year is being set to ensure that at least 1 billion people in the developing world are reached by the year 2020. The future is bright for those people who cannot access the expertise of an optometrist since liquid glasses are here to stay.

One day liquid glasses could be used by people the world over to quickly produce a pair of glasses fine tuned to your prescription. This is clearly an exciting development as it means those without immediate access to an optometrist can still can an affordable solution for their vision impairment.

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