Advancing in Eye Care With Technology
When you go to your ophthalmologist, and he suggests eye contacts it is probably because of more than one good reason and not just a rule of thumb theory.
The popularity of contact lens has been a strong affair for decades or even centuries when Leonardo da Vinci first illustrated the idea of contact lenses back in the 1500s.
Technology never ceases to amaze us with new advancements of getting things done with accuracy and finesse. In the 500 years of contact lenses evolution, we have witnessed people using lenses for corrective purposes, therapeutical purposes and more so to cosmetic enhancements.
Did it ever bother you to imagine dozing off or forgetting to remove your lenses before bed? With silicone hydrogel lenses you can remember to forget taking off your lenses for a month without an ounce of worry. Technology doesn’t stop here, there are many more types of new contact lenses that aids to specific ophthalmology related conditions.
Contact lenses that adjust to light
These are called light-sensitive contacts that darken when in contact with sunlight, like the lens of a camera. The lenses contain a dynamic photochromic filter filled with photochromic molecules that changes its structure when it is exposed to UV light, blocking blue light as well. These eye contacts regulate the amount of light that enters the eye protecting them from harmful outdoor and indoor lights and even digital devices.
People with myopia, hyperopia and certain degrees of astigmatism can use these light-sensitive lenses daily. However people with the following conditions are strongly advised to avoid using them: inflammation or infection around the eye or eyelids, conjunctivitis, any previously diagnosed conditions that do not recommend the use of lenses, severe dry eye, reduced corneal sensitivity, allergic reactions to any kind of contacts with the surface of the eye.
Though this logistics has been used in eyeglasses, the integration of such properties in lenses is a new advancement for which the FDA has approved and will be available on the market soon.
One has to be mindful that these lenses will cover only the cornea, so the use of sunglasses is vital to cover the rest of your eyes.
Smart Contact Lenses
The world is raging on smart things; we have smartphones to smartwatches, now it is time to make our eyes smart as well. Consumers are getting prepared feeling partly excited and partly scared for the ultimate contact lens that has all of the fancied properties in spades.
- Lenses for diabetics: A new bio-sensing contact lenses capable of detecting glucose levels in patients has been recently introduced. Checking sugar level is an everyday affair for patients with diabetes which is important but quite taxing. This lens will do the same with the blink of an eye. The glucose levels will be monitored in the tears by an in-built sensor monitor in the soft eye contacts outfitted with a micro-scale computer chip and an antenna. The information is then transmitted to a device, such as a smartphone which can be directly sent to the doctor.
Further innovative concepts for an inclusion of a tiny LED which would immediately alert the wearer of rising and falling sugar levels are something to look forward to in the next few years.
- Lenses for chronic ocular diseases: Those with chronic eye diseases can avail themselves to smart lenses that constantly monitor each condition. Such kind of contact lenses can check the intraocular pressure (IOP) of patients with glaucoma. The thought of sticking needles in your eyes and putting permanent lenses is a bit unsettling, and one can but keep hoping to replace surgery with drug-dispensing lenses.
There are ongoing researches on future prototypes of lenses that give medications to the eye directly. But these lenses have not been given the approval to be out for commercialization yet.
- Augmented reality lenses: Can lens technology get any smarter? Brace yourself for the most anticipated innovation that makes you feel like you are in a part of a spy movie. Contact lenses that can make you take pictures by blinking and take videos wherever and whenever you want sounds like a fantasy but projects are underway to bring such lenses out in the markets very soon.
Overlaying information by incorporating cameras, motion sensors and transmitters will be made possible in the physical world. For example, you can check out the menu of a restaurant by standing outside and taking a picture.
One may think it overly ambitious to expect the availability of these innovations and keep it for the posterity, but 2019 is starting to give us a lot of reasons to be excited and anticipate on technology marvels in eye contacts advancements. Keep your radar active to get your hands on these futuristic applications.