CONTACT LENS HISTORY
THE OVERSEAS PIONEERS
(1870-1940) was Professor of Ophthalmology 1907-1935 at Kiel University,
Germany, and also a Geheimrat or Privy Councillor.
In 1929 he read a paper at 13th International Congress of
method of fitting consisted of using a large number of afocal lenses with
varying corneal radii. By changing
the radius of curvature, the power of the liquid lens between the glass shell
and the cornea could be used to correct the ametropia.
Ida Mann, however, described this technique as leading to a "reductio
ad absurdum". Eventually Heine
realised that afocal lenses would not work for gross errors and agreed that
contact lenses should be optically powered.
He accepted that 'contact glasses' would never totally replace
spectacles, despite prejudice against the latter.
Their scope was nevertheless widening, particularly for irregular corneas
and keratoconus. Heine claimed to
have had great success with lenses for all types of refractive error and that,
when used for children, the development of ametropia, notably myopia, was
In 'Facts about Contact Glasses' published in the Optician of 5 November 1937, Heine reported on the use of Zeiss lenses and filling them with lukewarm, 0.9% saline solution to fill the space between the cornea and the lens. With nearly 1200 patients, he had never had a lens break in an eye due to a blow and there was no need to use shatterproof glass. He listed their advantages as: (1) better perspective, fusion and range of vision; (2) no misting up of lenses; (3) ideal for sailing, swimming, surgeons, cooks, actors, skiing, hunting, motoring, gymnastics, tennis, architects, engineers, airman and chemists.
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