JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A lot of people wake up every morning, stumble to the bathroom, and pop in their contacts. It's a normal part of you routine if you have less than perfect vision. But, did you know a popular line of contacts are made in Jacksonville?
"About 30 years ago we came up with the first disposable contact lens," said Dr. Giovanna Olivares.
Dr. Giovanna Olivares is a leader in research and development for Johnson and Johnson Vision. The company produces the popular ACUVUE brand contact lenses.
"We have lenses that will fit pediatrics, young kids...all the way to your mother."
Four billion contact lenses are manufactured annually between the Jacksonville headquarters on the southside and another manufacturing facility in Ireland.
"It typically takes about an hour and a half to go from the beginning of production all the way to the end of production," said Michael Hickey.
Michael Hickey is the manufacturing manager of the newest production line in Jacksonville.
"A human hand never touches the product from the time raw material goes in front of the machine and the finished product goes out of the back of the machine," explained Hickey as he showed our First Coast News crew the production line.
While a human hand may not touch the product, there are plenty here making sure everything goes just right.
"We're employing 2,000 employees here, which is a very diverse and talented workforce right here from the Jacksonville community."
At the research and development clinic, more than 32 studies have been conducted with the help of more than 1,700 patients.
"Any of our new ideas and our new prototypes, we actually put in patients eyes here in this clinic. That's how we can in a very controlled and scientific way be able to understand what our lenses are going to do and are they going to provide the benefit that you need," Dr. Olivares said.
According to a recent survey, of all the human senses, sight is the one people fear losing the most. But, the employees here at Johnson and Johnson Vision are working to protect the precious gift of sight.
"Everyday I can come here and I know that I'm going to work on something that will impact somebody's life in a positive way."