NEW AND FUTURE CONTACT LENSES LOOK TO ADVANCE COMFORT AND CAPABILITIES
CONTACT LENSES offer an opportunity to improve vision; the technology of contact lenses has evolved to meet today’s visual and comfort demands. And, it’s not stopping now. However, to take advantage of present and future innovations, stay abreast of these solutions. You can start here!
PRESENT: CREATING COMFORT
Recent releases of contact lenses have tackled ocular surface health via increasing water content, decreasing eyelid friction and stabilizing the tear film. These changes not only provide better eyesight at multiple distances, but — most importantly — improve comfort during contact lens wear.
Toric, multifocal and multifocal toric designs are, no doubt, on their way to provide the comfort afforded by their single vision siblings.
FUTURE: INNOVATING USE
Myopia control contact lenses are most likely to continue to evolve in the near future. These lens designs will be optimized based on the science of myopia development. Current research is aimed at understanding myopia stimuli and ways of slowing myopia progression. This may be specific contact lens optics, orthokeratology or even include pharmaceutical agents. We currently do not know which combination provides the maximum patient benefit, but look for more information about it as research continues.
Future innovations include the development of lenses that will measure a patient’s IOP (bio-sensors) and dispense the appropriate amount of medication (drug delivery) to control that IOP. Other medically beneficial contact lenses also are being developed by researchers, for example a glucose-monitoring lens.
“Smart” contact lens technology development also is expanding into auto-focusing contact lenses, potentially enabling the wearer to combat presbyopia. Further, patents have been secured by Samsung for contact lens technology that has a built-in blink-controlled camera, reports a May 2016 article for “The Week.” Sony has filed a patent for a contact lens that records video, also blink powered, according to a February article in “Tech News.”
In September’s Contact Lens Spectrum, author Harvard Sylvan, O.D. and director of professional relations at CooperVision, discussed the next 30 years of contact lenses. Here’s a snippet. (For the full article, visit bit.ly/CLSNext30 .)
- Telescopic contact lens: For patients with AMD or other central vision reductions, this lens, which switches between normal and telescopic magnification, could be an option in the future. Switching is accomplished via polarized, 3D glasses and winking OD for magnification and OS for normal distance. This lens is still being developed.
- Augmented reality contact lens: Companies are working on a lens that will overlay information across the field of view.
Commit to be informed by reading articles, such as this one, attending seminars and asking your colleagues what lenses are working in their clinics. In addition, offer the newest innovation to potential contact lens candidates. OM