Video: Video: Bad Eyesight Before Glasses: What Did People Do? [5:01]
History Dose tackles the question: What did people with poor eyesight do before glasses were invented? Glasses are a necessity for so many people today, so what did people do before the they were invented in the late thirteenth century? We look at how farsighted people— from Renaissance scholars and Vikings, to Ancient Romans and Egyptians— may have used magnifiers to combat farsightedness (presbyopia). We also look at how nearsightedness (myopia) appears to be a modern epidemic driven by lifestyle changes. However, if you were one of the few that were nearsighted, it probably would not have impacted your lifestyle as much as it would today. If you found this video informative and interesting, click the “subscribe” button for more. If you’d like to support the show, please consider donating to our Patreon! https://www.patreon.com/historydose/memberships Sources: Cassidy, J J, editor. “Medical Gleanings from Roman Egypt.” Canadian Journal of Medicine and Surgery, vol. 7, 1900, p. 43. Dolgin, Elie. “The Myopia Boom.” Nature News, Nature Publishing Group, 18 Mar. 2015, www.nature.com/news/the-myopia-boom-1.17120. Gellius, Aulus. “Book IV, Chapter II.” Attic Nights, penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/Roman/Texts/Gellius/4*.html. Ilardi, Vincent. Renaissance Vision from Spectacles to Telescopes. American Philosophical Society, 2007. [Chapters 1 & 3 were particularly relevant for this video] Jacewicz, Natalie. “What Did Nearsighted Humans Do Before Glasses?” NPR, 7 July 2016, www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/07/07/484835077/what-did-nearsighted-humans-do-before-glasses. Pliny the Younger. “Smaragdus.” Natural History, p. 6409, perseus.uchicago.edu/perseus-cgi/citequery3.pl?dbname=PerseusLatinTexts&getid=1&query=Plin. Nat. 37.16. Book 37, Chapter 16. Whitehouse, David. “Did the Vikings Make a Telescope?” BBC News, BBC, 5 Apr. 2000, news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/702478.stm.
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