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Smart Contact Lenses - Look of the Future

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Contact lenses have advanced to the new world of smart contact lenses. Read ahead to know more.

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Gopal R. Damani

Published At March 24, 2023
Reviewed AtMarch 24, 2023

Introduction:

Smart contact lenses are a revolutionary technology that combines the functionality of traditional contact lenses with the capabilities of modern electronic devices. These lenses offer a range of features that go far beyond traditional corrective lenses, including monitoring health metrics, tracking fitness data, and even displaying augmented reality images directly in front of the wearer's eyes.

What Are Smart Contact Lenses?

Smart contact lenses, also known as digital contact lenses, are wearable devices that are designed to fit directly onto the surface of the eye. They are similar in appearance to traditional contact lenses but contain advanced electronic components that allow them to perform a wide range of functions beyond simple vision correction.

How to Use Smart Contact Lenses?

Using smart contact lenses is very similar to using traditional contact lenses. They are placed directly onto the surface of the eye using the same techniques as traditional lenses and can be worn for extended periods (up to 16 hours per day, depending on the specific product). However, it is important to note that not all smart contact lenses are suitable for all users. Some may require a prescription, and others may not be suitable for people with certain eye conditions or allergies.

Who Can Use Smart Contact Lenses?

Smart contact lenses are generally suitable for anyone who can wear traditional contact lenses. However, some specific products may be more suitable for certain types of users. For example, smart contact lenses that monitor blood sugar levels may be particularly useful for people with diabetes, while those that track fitness data may be more appropriate for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.

What Are the Applications?

Smart contact lenses can be used in a wide range of conditions, from everyday wear to medical and industrial applications. Some of the most common uses of smart contact lenses include:

  • Health Monitoring: Smart contact lenses can be used to monitor a range of health metrics, including blood sugar levels, intraocular pressure, and other vital signs. This can be particularly useful for people with chronic health conditions like diabetes and glaucoma, who need to monitor their health regularly.

  • Fitness Tracking: Smart contact lenses can also be used to track fitness data, such as heart rate, steps taken, and other activity metrics. This is useful for athletes, fitness enthusiasts, and anyone looking to improve their overall health and wellness.

  • Augmented Reality: Some smart contact lenses are capable of displaying augmented reality images directly in front of the wearer's eyes. This can be useful in a variety of applications, from gaming and entertainment to industrial and medical settings.

  • Vision Correction: Smart contact lenses can also be used for traditional vision correction, just like standard contact lenses.

  • Drug Delivery: Smart contact lenses have also been developed that can deliver medication directly to the eye. This can be particularly useful for treating eye conditions like glaucoma, which require frequent and precise dosing.

  • Environmental Monitoring: Smart contact lenses can be used to monitor environmental conditions like air quality, temperature, and humidity. This can be useful in a variety of applications, from environmental monitoring to workplace safety.

Overall, smart contact lenses have been identified to be of use potentially in a wide range of applications in a variety of fields. As technology continues to develop, it's likely that we will discover more ways to use these innovative devices to improve our health, safety, and quality of life.

How to Take Care of Smart Contact Lenses?

Taking care of smart contact lenses is very similar to taking care of traditional contact lenses. It's important to follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and storage and to avoid wearing the lenses for extended periods of time without taking breaks. It is also important to avoid exposing the lenses to water or other liquids, as this can damage the electronic components and render the lenses unusable.

What Are the Drawbacks Of Smart Contact Lenses?

While smart contact lenses offer a range of benefits and exciting possibilities, there are also some potential drawbacks that should be considered before using them. Some of the drawbacks of smart contact lenses include the following:

  • Cost: Smart contact lenses can be quite expensive, particularly if they offer advanced features like health monitoring and augmented reality. This may make them inaccessible to some users.

  • Limited Battery Life: Most smart contact lenses are powered by small batteries that need to be recharged or replaced regularly. This can be inconvenient for users who need to wear the lenses for extended periods of time.

  • Corneal Damage: Wearing contact lenses, including smart contact lenses, can increase the risk of corneal damage if the lenses are worn for too long, improperly fitted, or not properly cleaned and maintained.

  • Comfort Issues: Some users may find that smart contact lenses are less comfortable to wear than traditional contact lenses. This can be particularly true for lenses that contain electronic components, which may be bulkier or heavier than standard lenses.

  • Eye Irritation: Some users may experience eye irritation, redness, or discomfort when wearing smart contact lenses. This can be caused by the electronic components in the lenses, as well as other factors like improper fit or poor hygiene.

  • Risk of Eye Infections: Any contact lens carries a risk of eye infections, and smart contact lenses are no exception. In fact, because they contain electronic components, there may be an increased risk of infection if the lenses are not properly cleaned and maintained.

  • Limited Availability: While smart contact lenses are an exciting new technology, they have yet to be widely available. This may make it difficult for some users to access the lenses, particularly if they live in remote or underserved areas.

Overall, while smart contact lenses offer many exciting possibilities, they are not without their drawbacks. As with any new technology, it is important to carefully weigh the benefits and risks before deciding whether or not to use smart contact lenses.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, smart contact lenses have the potential to revolutionize the approach to healthcare and improve the quality of life for many people. With their ability to monitor and track various health metrics, provide real-time feedback, and even deliver medications, smart contact lenses could become an invaluable tool for managing chronic conditions such as diabetes and glaucoma. While there are some challenges to overcome, such as ensuring safety and reliability of the technology, the future looks bright for smart contact lenses and their potential to transform healthcare.

Frequently Asked Questions

1.

Do Smart Contact Lenses Exist?

Smart or digital contact lenses are wearable devices in which technology is combined with traditional contact lens functionality. They look similar to conventional lenses but have advanced features, including tracking health and fitness data, augmented reality image display, and more.

2.

What Are Smart Contact Lenses Used For?

Smart contact lenses can be used in place of traditional contact lenses for similar benefits. In addition, it has other features like health monitoring, fitness data tracking, environmental monitoring, drug delivery, and more. The primary use is vision correction; it may also be used for tracking other parameters. 

3.

How Much Do Smart Contact Lenses Cost?

The major drawback of smart contact lenses is their high-end price. They are far more expensive than traditional contact lenses, and the cost varies depending on the features. Features like augmented reality make it attractive, but the high price makes it inaccessible for many.

4.

Is There a Contact Lens for Poor Eyesight?

Smart contact lenses offer the functionality of traditional contact lenses and help in vision correction. The properties of the lens used in smart contact lenses can be customized based on the visibility requirements of the user. In addition to such features, it may also track and monitor other health-related parameters.

5.

What Is Smart Lens Treatment?

Smart lens treatment uses multifocal intraocular lenses and is done after cataract surgeries. Due to cataracts, the transparency of the natural eye lens gets lost. As a part of cataract treatment, the natural lens will be replaced by an artificial lens called an intelligent lens to improve the functioning of the eyes. 

6.

Can Contact Lens Be Used Daily?

Contact lenses can be used daily or continuously. A person can wear the contacts for eight to sixteen hours and should try removing them during bedtime. If care and hygiene measures are not taken, the contact lens can irritate the eyes, causing redness and infection.

7.

How to Remove Smart Contact Lenses?

Smart contact lenses can be inserted and removed, similar to traditional ones. The upper and lower should be initially raised and lowered, respectively. The lens should be gently squeezed and pulled downward and away from the eye using the index finger and thumb pads. 

8.

Who Invented Smart Contact Lenses?

Multiple companies, organizations, and institutions have researched, studied, and contributed to the invention of smart contact lenses. In 2014, Google announced its partnership with a company to develop a smart contact lens with the feature of sensing glucose levels. 

9.

Who Cannot Wear Contact Lens?

Everyone cannot use a contact lens. A person with dry eyes, xerophthalmia, and blepharitis (red, itchy, and irritated eyelids) should not use contact lenses as it may increase the symptoms. Conditions like contact lens intolerance, allergic reactions, and others can also worsen while using contact lenses.

10.

Do Contacts Improve Eyesight?

Contact lenses improve vision in cases like myopia or near-sightedness, hyperopia or far-sightedness, presbyopia (blurred vision for close objects seen in older adults), and astigmatism (blurred vision). But they may not cure the condition but only act as a solution while being used.

11.

What Material Is Smart Lens?

Polyvinyl alcohol, polyacrylamide, poly (2 hydroxyethyl methacrylate), polyethylene terephthalate, and polydimethylsiloxane are some materials used in smart lenses. In addition, they are equipped with technologies that help track or monitor health and fitness data.

12.

Is There a Permanent Eye Contact?

Permanent contact lenses are also called implantable contact lenses. These are lenses placed within the eyes in front of the natural lens. It is implanted within the eyes by implantable contact lens surgery. It is a quick and effective vision correction procedure.

13.

What Is the Latest Technology in Contact Lenses?

The latest technology in contact lenses is the smart contact lens. They are the traditional contact lenses tethered to technology that helps monitor health data, track fitness activities, and even display AR, or augmented reality, visuals.

14.

Are Glasses Better Than Contacts?

Both glasses and contact lenses serve a similar purpose. But glasses are considered safer and more convenient as they will not come into close contact with the eyes and do not cause irritation, itchiness, or redness as caused by contact lenses in some individuals. On the contrary, glasses protect the eyes from irritants.

15.

How Smart Glasses Treat Myopia?

There are smart glasses with defocus incorporated multiple segments (DIMS) technologies used to manage myopia. They are designed for those individuals, especially children with myopia, who are not ready to accept contact lenses. This technology manages myopia by slowing down the progression rate. 
Source Article IclonSourcesSource Article Arrow
Dr. Gopal R. Damani
Dr. Gopal R. Damani

Ophthalmology (Eye Care)

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contact lenssmart contact lens
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