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Background and Identification
Eyewear includes items and accessories worn on or over the eyes. Eyewear may be worn for fashion or adornment, to improve or enhance visual sharpness, or to protect against the environment. Common eyewear includes glasses (sometimes called spectacles or eyeglasses), sunglasses, contact lenses, and safety glasses and goggles.
Glasses are eyewear traditionally used for vision correction. Without specialized lenses, glasses are sometimes used for cosmetic purposes. Glasses consist of glass or hard plastic lenses mounted in a plastic or metal frame. The game holds the lenses in front of the user’s eyes by resting the bridge of the frame over the nose and hinged arms (called temples or temple pieces) which rest over the ears.
There is scattered evidence for the use of visual aid devices in the Greek and Roman eras, including the use of an emerald by emperor Nero. In the 10th century, Ptolemy produced convex lenses to produce an enlarged and magnified image. The first eyeglasses are thought to have been produced in Northern Italy by around 1290. Some cultures developed “sunglasses” for eye protection without any corrective properties. For instance, flat pieces of smoky quartz were used in 12th-century China. The Inuit have also been known to use snow goggles for eye protection.