Seeing Is Believing: The Miracle Of Modern Eye Health Care


Vision is the sense that people fear losing the most, yet funding for eye health research lags well behind that for other diseases and without action, by 2050 more than half of the world’s population may need vision aids for everyday life.

For centuries, London’s scientists and clinicians have played a central role in increasing our understanding of vision – and the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers has supported their work, as the only City livery company entirely dedicated to eye health. The Company’s purpose “Better vision for all” is as relevant today as when the Company was founded by Royal Charter in 1629.

In the 75th anniversary year of the first lens implanted into the eye (performed at St Thomas’ Hospital in London), hear about the discoveries and innovations which have benefited the lives of millions of people around the world. Cataract is still the most important cause of blindness world-wide; cataract surgery is the most common operation performed in the UK today. Learn more about how research in London is working to reduce your chances of developing cataract, and about 21st Century genetic, AI and technology studies in this area. Consider, with us, the actions we need to take to offset the societal and environmental factors affecting our vision, and our health as a whole.


Professor Chris Hammond is the Frost Professor of Ophthalmology at King’s College London and a consultant ophthalmologist and researcher at Guys’ and St Thomas’ Hospitals. He is recognised internationally as a leading researcher in the genetic epidemiology of common eye diseases, such as cataracts, glaucoma, myopia (short sight), dry eye disease, and age-related macular degeneration. He is a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Spectacle Makers and a member of its professorial Research, Education and Public Engagement (REM) Group.