Sir Harold Ridley

… why an entire generation was prevented from having sight restored.

In 1940 during WW2 a British pilot was blinded when shattered fragments of his cockpit canopy were embedded in his eyes.  This event led to the the discovery that the cockpit material (brand PERSPEX) was bio-compatible and the realisation by Ridley that it could be used to make an implantable lens inside the eye following the removal of a cataract, thereby restoring sight.

This amazing story, told in “Sir Harold Ridley and his Fight for Sight” by David J Apple, documents the events leading to the first intraocular lens (IOL) implant (‘the cure for cataracts’).  In some ways even more amazing, but highly disturbing, is the fact that after performing this operation the UK medical community opposed his work.  So ‘effective’ was this opposition that an entire generation was prevented from the benefit of having sight restored.   If you read  ‘We think you should know’ you will see that even today innovations such as the Internet and the daysoft patented system of delivering the safest form of contact lens wear are opposed by ‘the establishment’ in the form of the General Optical Council based in Harley Street, London.