New research commissioned by the Contact Lens Institute (CLI) reveals that U.S. eye care practitioners are missing an opportunity to talk about contact lens options with two out of three patients, among other eye-popping findings. The nationwide survey of nearly 1,000 U.S. adults who require vision correction is part of the organization’s See Tomorrow initiative, which is designed to help practices understand and thrive as consumer beliefs and behaviors evolve. Here are some key findings from the survey.
This month’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) was the platform for a new contact lens. That’s right – CES, the world’s largest trade show. InWith Corp presented an electronic soft contact lens that allows users to transition from the real world to extended reality (XR). InWith said the technology could allow developers to place augmented vision display chip applications into any soft hydrogel contact lens and would work in conjunction with a mobile device. The key to this innovation is the stretchable electronic circuitry the company introduced in name brand contact lenses in 2020.
From Vision Monday
WATERLOO, Ontario—A newly published review paper addresses the dangers and consequences of inappropriate soft contact lens substitution by consumers and resellers, offering an objective, evidence-based perspective on a globally proliferating issue. The paper, “All soft contact lenses are not created equal,” is now in press from Contact Lens and Anterior Eye, the peer-reviewed journal of the British Contact Lens Association (BCLA), according to a recent announcement by the Centre for Ocular Research and Education (CORE). Its authors represent some of the most prominent researchers in the contact lens field: Nathan Efron, Phillip Morgan, Jason Nichols, Karen Walsh, Mark Willcox, James Wolffsohn, and Lyndon Jones, who is director of CORE, which is based here.
Contact lenses that monitor eye health have emerged over the last several years. Current designs involve sensors embedded in a soft contact lens that connect with an external wireless device. Last year, researchers at the Shenzhen Institutes of Advanced Technology (SIAT) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences found a different approach to “smart” contact lenses. They developed a contact lens that can show real-time changes in eye surface moisture and intraocular pressure by changing colors.
It seems to happen all too often. Pick up the phone in the office, and it’s a contact lens prescription verification request that may need to be replayed more than once to be understood. The Health Care Alliance for Patient Safety notes, “Confirming the accuracy of contact lens prescriptions, which includes several specifications, is far too complicated for an automated phone system or robocall. Information relayed in these robocalls is oftentimes garbled or does not align with a patient’s medical record—making it difficult, or even impossible, for a doctor to correctly identify the patient and proper prescription within the eight-hour passive verification window.” This message from Johnson & Johnson Vision Care sends a glimmer of hope to eliminate this problem, but only if we all take action.
The Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization recently secured a patent for a new contact lens technology to help diagnose and monitor ocular health conditions, as reported in ScienceDaily. Like other ‘smart’ contact lenses, biosensors embedded on the soft contact lenses record electrophysiological activity from the corneal surface. But there’s a difference. Geared for retinal activity, the ultrathin biosensors are stretchable, making them more compatible with the curved shape of commercial soft contact lenses, increasing patient comfort.
Current estimates are that presbyopia affects approximately 1.8 billion people around the world, and as the world population ages (we’re living longer), that number will rise considerably. Contemporary presbyopia correction with contact lenses includes monovision and multifocal lenses. But what if a contact lens could transition from distance to near vision as seamlessly as our younger eyes? Based on the volume of new patent filings and prototypes, accommodating contact lenses are in our future.
In 1951, Czech chemist Otto Wichterle developed the first soft contact lens polymer made from hydrophilic hydroxyethyl methacrylate (HEMA). The water-loving lens allowed more oxygen to pass through to the cornea. The early lenses were made by filling small molds with the polymer, then allowed to harden. The resulting “buttons” were then cut to the desired prescription. The edges had to be smoothed by hand. Clearly, a more efficient way to make the lenses was needed.
You read that right. There’s a connection between contact lenses and that sticky, stretchy creation that’s all the rage with kids. It seems that contact lens solution is a key ingredient for homemade slime. Who figured that one out? I couldn’t find the responsible party, but a little of the history and chemistry behind slime will give some insight as to why it works.
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