Understanding the latest developments in contact lenses technology

Contact lenses are wonderful medical devices that can not only elevate your vision but can also add convenience to your daily activities and save you from injury too. But looking at the latest advancement in contact lens technology, over the last decade or so comfort, breathability and vision demands have certainly increased. From introducing treatment that uses specially designed overnight contact lenses to alter the shape of the eye while sleeping to new soft multifocal designs, Dr. Poonam Yadav, Consultant Ophthalmology, Columbia Asia Hospital, Sarjapur Road helps us in exploring the latest in contact lens technology.

Overnight Contact Lenses – Is it really the new alternative to laser eye surgery? Overnight contact lenses are a good non-operative alternate to laser eye surgery for patients who are claimed to be unfit for Lasik. Their principle of action is similar to lasik that is to alter/modulate the corneal surface shape in order to correct the refractive power. They are used for various age groups starting from young children to older adults. Their action is temporary and since they are used at night they do not have any restriction on day activities (like other contact lenses), in terms of swimming, sleeping, going to the beach or splashing water in the eyes. However, they do have a limitation on powers which can be corrected. Know more Contact lenses care and maintenance – 7 common FAQs answered

What’s the latest in the development of orthokeratology (Ortho K) or overnight vision correction?

Orthokeratology or overnight contact lenses have been ideated since the 1960s when flattering the corneal surface in myopia or steeping the surface for hyperopia by rigid lenses was proposed. Since the 1980s, however, we use the reverse geometric principal in designing of the lenses which alter the corneal shape according to the power requirement. Ortho-K lenses are basically a temporary means to correct mild to moderate myopia by wearing these lenses overnight. In the daytime, the patient is free from refractive aids to do day to day activity.

Ortho-K lenses known to reduce power in children. How true is it? Ortho-K lenses have been helpful in a slowing down progression of myopia in children. They can be used in kids as young as 7 – 8 years and even older adults can use them. They do have some measurement and fitting time requirements for dispensing but can be used independently or under the guidance of adults in children. Read here 7 things to keep in mind while choosing contact lens

Understanding soft multifocal designs: In monovision, we have to correct one eye for distance vision and other eyes for near. This is a good option but compromises the binocular vision and depth perception. Also, intermediate vision still remains an issue. In today’s day and time, we need to check our screens every now and then and sometimes for hours. The soft multifocal contact lenses provide quite a good vision for distance, near and intermediate. So, they work as a good substitute to a spectacle-free life for our technology-oriented generation.

There can be some loss of contrast sensitivity and a quality of vision. Overall, a new presbyopia or a regular contact lenses wearer reaching presbyopia finds it convenient to adapt to the multifocal contact lenses. Did you know 3 common eye problems caused due to overuse of contact lens

Research says that new Bionic Contact Lenses could make glasses obsolete. These are still in the process of research and experimentation. They are lenses which aim to give “supervision powers” to the human eye. They are equipped with LEDs, circuits and antennas in the biocompatible material. They emit radio frequencies so as to sense the surroundings of the wearer. For the visually impaired they help in navigating them without hitting an obstacle or falling. They also intend in future to use them in normal human eyes to project data on the visual field for access to information to appear right before the eye.

The latest advancement in scleral contact lenses: Scleral contact lenses are large gas permeable contact lenses which rest on conjunctiva/sclera portion of the eye. The patients are primarily advised for using this during the conditions like – corneal ectasia (primarily as in keratoglobus, Pellucid marginal degeneration (PMD) or secondary as in after refractive procedures like LASIK, photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). The scleral contact lenses are also used for various ocular surface disorders like severe dry eyes, Steven-Johnson’s syndrome, also during corneal conditions which can post transplants, trauma or corneal scars etc.

What particularly makes Scleral contact lenses ideal for irregular corneas, hard-to-fit eyes, and dry eyes? Scleral contacts have a clearance zone between the lenses and cornea. This is filled with tear film liquid which acts as a liquid bandage over the cornea. These lenses rest over the conjunctiva which is the white portion of the eye. Therefore, these lenses are ideal for irregular corneas and hard to fit eyes and dry eyes as compared to regular contact lenses. Also, since they have quite large optical zone they fit much better than the corneal rigid gas permeable lenses.

Image source: Shutterstock (Image for representational purpose only)

Published: November 12, 2017 2:42 pm

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