Ophthalmic Eye Care : Instruments For the Practice of Ophthalmology and Optometry

Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine that deals with the anatomy, physiology and diseases of the eye.

The invention of the ophthalmoscope in 1850 revolutionized the practice of ophthalmology. Doctors could now diagnose and treat diseases such as glaucoma, infections of the eye and inflammatory eye disease.

Evolving as a separate science was optometry and the use of spectacles. Glasses were used as early as the 16th century with their wide spread, general use during the 18th century. It was during the 18th century that Benjamin Franklin invented the bifocals. The wearing of spectacles during the 18th century became so popular that they were often used as a fashionable accessory even when the wearer did not need glasses.

The collection at Edward Hand Medical Heritage Foundation includes many examples of the instruments used in ophthalmic eye care; ranging from a 19th century eye surgery kit, to several ophthalmoscopes, to several early examples of spectacles.

An article on the History of Ophthalmology in Lancaster County, written by Dr. Paul Ripple and Dr. John Bowman, can be found in the Articles section of our website.

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Ophthalmic Eye Care