Skip to Main Content



Ophthalmology is a medical specialty that dates back to around 1600 B.C., when many vision problems were already recognized. The treatments that were available at the time were primitive, such as using crocodile dung and lizard blood to treat eye problems. Since then, treatments have advanced.

Although the surgeon Susruta performed cataract surgery in India more than 2,000 years ago, Western Europe did not develop the specialty until the mid-1800s. During this era, a solid base of scientific research and medical advances in ophthalmology evolved. The ophthalmoscope, which is an instrument used to view the inside of the eye, was developed during this time.

Ophthalmology has undergone numerous significant scientific and technological breakthroughs in the past decade or so. Using retinal laser surgery (such as LASIK) to correct vision impairments is one recent groundbreaking procedure that has become a common practice among ophthalmologists.

Related Professions