There is a lot of discussion surrounding smart contact lenses, which are essentially wearable technology. They were originally designed to help diabetics measure the glucose level in tears but this innovation was unsuccessful and more research was put into the development of a microscopic circuit that would provide real-time medical diagnostics, administer drugs and generate a virtual display, all through a contact lens.
Smart lenses would be worn like regular contact lenses, and at the moment, there are basic smart lenses and advanced smart lenses that are currently in development. The basic lens would sit on top of the eye lens and contains a microscopic circuit around the edges to record information and release medication. The basic version would contain micro versions of technology and can be designed for specific applications. Advanced smart lenses would require surgery because they would replace your existing lens, so they would be permanent. Data storage, Bluetooth, task-specific sensors, display, radio, antenna and an auto-focusing lens are the different technologies that would be contained within this type of lens. They would be used to detect diseases like cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment and macular degeneration. Once the disease is detected, the lens would then send the information to a recorder. Smart lens technology can potentially be used to see in the dark, to record and store videos and to zoom in on objects and these would be in addition to correcting long-sightedness or near-sightedness.
The most important use of smart lenses is to detect illnesses. This is the primary purpose and most immediate use because many diseases are first detected in the eye, so this technology would be able to monitor the health of your eyes and would have the ability to detect signs early on. Glaucoma is a disorder that affects a very high number of people and early detection can address and prevent the development of this eye disorder. In addition to glaucoma, the technology in the smart lens would also be able to detect issues related to sodium, cholesterol and alcohol.
Once a disorder has been detected, smart contact lenses would also be able to dispense drugs because when they are worn, drugs would be able to seep through the film and straight into the eye. Such a lens could be used to treat glaucoma or eye injuries and the medication would be more effective because it would be released directly into the eye, making it more likely that it would reach the back of the eye resulting in successful treatments.
Smart lenses are extremely innovative but are still in the development and testing stage, so they cannot be purchased. Orangeville Optometric Centre can provide you with information regarding contact lenses and we offer a number of other services as well. Whether you need eyeglass frames, an eye exam, laser eye surgery or an eye test, we can help, so if you want a reputable optometrist who can take care of all of your eye care needs, give us a call today!