Museum of Vision

Dedicated to preserving ophthalmic history

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Community Forum

The Museum of Vision wishes to foster a community among individuals, ophthalmologists, medical historians, collectors and educators to strength and share our knowledge of ophthalmic heritage.  All submissions to the community will be reviewed prior to publication.


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From G. Darilek, 9/8/2011 12:02:00 PM
Thank you for sending me this curriculum. I teach Health in 5th through 8th grade so I definitely can use this material.
From M. Lazarus, 9/8/2010 10:52:00 AM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

Ramon Castrovejo

From Peter Hardy-Smith, MD, 9/8/2010 10:50:00 AM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

I consider that the major event that has transformed our speciality has been the invention of the intra-ocular lens by Sir Harold Ridley, whose house surgeon I had the honour to be at Moorfields Eye Hospital in 1962.

From Larry G. Gardner, BA, MBA, 9/8/2010 10:41:00 AM

As a non-ophthalmologist observer (ophthalmic technician 1975-1987, ophthalmic practice administrator 1987-present), I believe that the intraocular lens (IOL) is without doubt the most transforming device in the history of ophthalmology. The time of transition from when the majority of patients having cataract surgery were left aphakic to the time when virtually all cataract patients became pseudophakic has been both exciting and rewarding. The cloud of dread related to the diagnosis of cataract has been eliminated and replaced by the promise of improved vision and “young eyes”. In many cases, patients do not even need glasses for nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, or presbyopia. We now use the IOL not just as a replacement of the eye’s natural lens but as an improvement on it.

For those of you who might read this without having had the opportunity and challenge of helping patients adjust to aphakic spectacles where objects appeared thirty percent larger and “jump” into their field of vision, be glad. If you don’t need to fit an eighty year old with rigid contact lenses which have to be inserted, removed and cared for with arthritic hands, be glad. When you don’t receive a call from that eighty year old, at midnight, because he has been using a plunger on his naked cornea for the last two hours to remove his contact lens, be glad. For those of you who will never be those patients, be glad. For your patients, be glad. Be glad for the IOL.

Many years ago, the practice, where I was working in Indianapolis, routinely had a display in the Senior Citizen’s building during the run of the Indiana State Fair. Part of that display was a demonstration of the “Lens Opacity Meter” (Interzeag). While manning the display, I had the opportunity to measure the lens opacities of four generations of females ranging in age from 12 to 75. The youngest girl measured about a 10 (on a scale from 0-100 where on our machine clinically significant opacity was about 30), her mother measured about 17, the grand-mother measured about 28, and great grand-mother measured in at 8. We all had a good laugh when I told them that she couldn’t fool me. I knew she had already had her natural lens replaced with an IOL; it made her eyes “younger” than her great grand-daughter’s eyes.

The IOL is a fountain of youth. The IOL is a true miracle. A miracle we in ophthalmology are fortunate to be a part of every day. Let’s not forget that when our patient’s expectations sometimes diminish the wonder of it.

Larry G. Gardner, BA, MBA
Executive Director
Pankratz Eye Institute
Columbus, IN

From David S. Pfoff, MD, 9/8/2010 10:39:00 AM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

Positively
1.IOL’s
2.Healon
3.Yag laser
4.Cirrus OCT

Negatively
1.The Clinton presidency by enabling HMO’s etc.

From Jeff Hunter, MD, 9/8/2010 10:36:00 AM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

At the top of my list would be Marshall Parks,MD. An innovative and ground-breaking physician that developed numerous techniques, basic science knowledge and was the consummate gentleman.

From Brooks J. Poley, MD, 9/8/2010 10:35:00 AM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

Charles Kelman's phacoemulsification for cataract removal together with artificial lens implantation is the event that has most changed ophthalmology for the better. Lens exchange with phaco/IOL will eventually be recognized as a prevention and treatment for adult glaucoma. Without the development of phaco for cataract removal, phaco/IOL for prevention and control of adult glaucoma would not have been possible.

From Col. Hal Kushner, MD, 9/8/2010 10:32:00 AM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

My answer: The FTC’s ruling in 1971(?)allowing advertising and marketing of the “Learned Professions.”

From Melvin Rubin, MD, 6/28/2010 9:27:00 AM
The past history necessarily includes research in the basic science of vision as well as that related to the clinical aspects of ophthalmology. Those involved with vision basic science very early on were not physicians: Ptolomy, a Greek philosopher, first clarified the laws of reflection and refraction; and much later (early 1600s) Johannes Kepler (a mathematician and astronomer) proved that the retina is the site or organ of vision and not the lens, as postulated 2000 years earlier by Aristotle. Physicians began working on basic vision research in the early 19th century, the greatest contributors being Jan Purkinje (the science of many sensory organs) and, of course, Hermann Helmholtz, inventor of the ophthalmoscope. As for clinical ophthalmology, though medical mythology was first converted into a science by Hippocrates, a high point was in 1715, when Jacques Daviel first extracted a cataract rather than couching it. In the late 19th century, an important academic ophthalmologist at Heidelberg who spent his career in basic eye research was Theodor Leber, who studied, taught, and wrote extensively about the vasculature of the eye and retina. Of course there were more great ones to follow, and I’ll stop my listing here. Suffice to say, it would be mere bias to proclaim any one individual or deed as THE most transforming.
From Harry Mark, MD, 6/16/2010 11:52:00 AM
What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine? No doubt in my mind, it was the discovery and application of antibiotics, began with Alexander Fleming (1881-1955) in 1928 that radically transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine, actually all mankind.
From Richard Keeler, 6/16/2010 11:47:00 AM
What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine? If I am allowed a second helping I would like to throw another name into the ring, that of Frans Donders of Utrecht. If you are looking for a unique event the story goes that during the Great Exhibition of 1851 in London both Donders and von Graefe were staying at Sir William Bowman's house. When asked by Mrs. Bowman about what they had seen at the Exhibition neither could recall much. They had spent the whole time walking up and down the main concourse in deep and excited conversation about Hermann von Helmholtz's new invention, the Ophthalmoscope. Surely the meeting of these three great pioneers in ophthalmology, Bowman, von Graefe and Donders discussing the most pivotal invention in ophthalmology ever takes some beating ?
From Norman B. Medow, MD, 6/16/2010 11:45:00 AM
What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine? My nomination is a little different. I believe that chronicling the history of ophthalmology can be a huge contribution to the profession so I am nominating Julius Hirshberg, MD for his multi-volume encyclopedia of ophthalmic history. His work is invaluable to historians in all fields and helps put ophthalmology in perspective.
From W.H. "Terry" Marshall, MD, 6/16/2010 11:44:00 AM
What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine? I would submit that Edward T. Jackson, MD had an incredibly profound effect on transforming ophthalmology, and delineating it as a subspecialty of medicine. Dr. Jackson was a tireless leader in the early years of the AAOO, a prolific author, and a champion for the education of ophthalmologists. He played an instrumental role in the development of the AAO, ABO, AOS and the AJO, just to mention a few of his accomplishments. For his many contributions, we collectively owe a debt of gratitude to Dr. Edward Jackson for his tireless educational efforts on behalf of ophthalmologists. Many of his educational ideals are still in place more than a century later.
From William Spencer, MD, 6/9/2010 10:15:00 AM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

No list should exclude Rudolph Virchow, the father of cellular pathology, and Robert Hooke, the inventor of the compound microscope. Their contributions stimulated the advancement of basic scientific investigation in all branches of medicine.

From Stanley Truhlsen, MD, 6/9/2010 9:33:00 AM

You present a difficult question; who, where or what? I first think of what: the laser which extends far beyond ophthalmology and is used in many areas of medicine.  It is important in several areas in ophthalmology, glaucoma, retinal problems, cataract surgery, lasik and others.

From David Reifler, MD, 6/9/2010 9:27:00 AM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

It brings to mind important contributions imported into our specialty such as concepts of antisepsis by Joseph Lister and work on computed tomography by Godfrey Hounsfield and others, etc. These things certainly impact my daily practice of medicine.

From Pamela Sieving, 6/9/2010 9:20:00 AM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

While this is more recent history than many of the other suggestions: Arnall Patz work on what was essentially the first NIH multicenter clinical trial seems to merit consideration, changing practice as well as helping to establish the means for such changes. I am also sifting through possibilities for ophthalmic genetics: ophthalmology is clearly a leader in the identification of disease genes (holding its own, with about 25% of the known genes) and now leading in the exploration of gene therapy. You did ask about transforming all of medicine!

From William Tasman, MD, 6/8/2010 2:11:00 PM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

I nominate Jules Gonin, Charles Kelman and Robert Machemer

From David J. Apple, MD, 6/8/2010 11:10:00 AM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

Harold Ridley. He wrote the definitive book on clinical diagnosis of onchocerciasis (River Blindness). Was a pioneer in cataract surgery in the developing world. Was one of the first, if not the first, to apply multi-vitamins to WWII prisoners with amblyopia, secondary to macular loss -- a technique that has been extrapolated big deal today as a treatment of another kind of macular loss, namely macular degeneration, which is now one of the hottest topics around. Was actually the first to televise an eye operation and apply tele-diagnosis. Was one of the first, if not the first, to apply non-evasive diagnosis of the retina and optic nerve by such techniques as laser scanning ophthalmoscopy (LSO) - (he formulated the technique for this even before the laser was invented). His invention of the [intraocular] lens was really the first application of what we call today "biomedical engineering" and artificial organ transplantation. The IOL implant was years before the artificial heart or pacemaker. Most biomedical engineers actually agree with this statement. Ridley, by his findings and his tutoring of those around him, is really the man who has put us into refractive surgery. There are too many details to go into this, but he directly brought us IOL refractive surgery and indirectly brought us principles of keratorefractive surgery.

From Steven Newman, MD, 6/8/2010 11:08:00 AM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

I personally would vote for Albrecht von Graefe. Aside from making use of Helmholtz's ophthalmoscope he described glaucoma, introduced surgery into the treatment of glaucoma, established the first important ophthalmic journal and really became the bedrock for modern ophthalmology.

From Jay Galst, MD, 6/8/2010 11:06:00 AM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

What really revolutionized the field of medicine was the invention of antibiotics (penicillin). This magic bullet changed the whole spectrum of what diseases used to be the most lethal (bacterial infections).

From Jay M. Enoch, 6/8/2010 11:05:00 AM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

Kepler for first putting it all together, i.e., showing the retina to be the light sensitive surface, the fact that the image is inverted, and that the eye-lens is not the receptive locus.

From Richard Keeler, 6/8/2010 11:03:00 AM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

Albrecht von Graefe, the brilliant ophthalmologist, who in his brief life of 43 years invented instruments and surgical procedures which stood the test of time. Allvar Gullstrand the self taught ophthalmologist who developed the Slit Lamp ( Microscope) as well as other important ophthalmic instruments. And Charles Schepens who spirited from the rubble of the damage caused by a bomb which fell on Moorfields Eye Hospital in 1944 the components for what was to become the first head-worn Binocular Indirect Ophthalmoscope.

From Ivan Schwab, MD, 6/8/2010 11:01:00 AM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

Thomas Young, my favorite, was a physician, and the first person to describe the trichromacy of vision (and offhandedly at that), the first person to correctly understand and explain accommodation using experiments on himself including placing an instrument behind his own fovea to move it manually to prove that foveal movement was not part of accommodation. Young correctly described and championed the wave theory of light, and invented an instrument (still used today) to prove it. He was willing to stand up to the ghost of Newton who was seen as infallible at the time.

From Daniel Albert, MD, 6/8/2010 10:59:00 AM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

Daviel publication on cataract extraction (Academie Royale de Chirurgie, [Paris]: Memoires… vol. 2, pp 337-352, 1753). I should add (although everyone probably knows it) that in addition to definitively clearing up centuries of confusion about what a cataract was and how it should be treated, the Jacques Daviel work led to the establishment of ophthalmology as a medical and surgical specialty.

From George Bohigian, MD, 6/7/2010 3:35:00 PM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

My nomination is Carl Koller (a close associate of Sigmund Freud, who would write about cocaine later) experimented with cocaine for ophthalmic usage. In an infamous experiment in 1884, he experimented upon himself by applying a cocaine solution to his own eye and then pricking it with pins. His findings were presented to the Heidelberg Ophthalmological Society.

From James Ravin, MD, 6/1/2010 3:12:00 PM

What person, place, thing or event has most transformed ophthalmology and all of medicine?

Helmholtz invention of the ophthalmoscope at the middle of the 19th century was certainly a transforming event. The Museum of Vision can easily show some of its holdings of ophthalmoscopes as part of an effective display.

From Neil Handley, 2/23/2010 2:17:00 AM
Congratulations on the relaunch of your website. I am sure it will be a tremendously useful tool in promoting your important collection to the eyecare professions and the wider world. I look forward to you populating your links page! Neil Handley, Curator British Optical Assocuation Museum The College of Optometrists, London UK
From L.M. Eldredge, 2/22/2010 9:52:00 AM

With respect to the eyeglasses dated 1286: The earliest painting of a person in eyeglasses dates from 1352, a portrait by Tomaso da Modena in the chapter house of San Nicolo monastery in Treviso. In 1305 Giordano of Pisa, preaching in Florence says "It is only 20 years ago that the art of making eyeglasses was discovered ..." (non e ancora venti anni che si trovo l'arte di fare gli occhiali ...") This is usually thought to be the first mention of eyeglasses, and it points to a date around 1285.

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