Smart contact lenses treating glaucoma
Glaucoma Adancements in technology will enable us to identify change long before any loss of sight, further improving diagnosis and monitoring.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of sight loss with up to 320,000 people undiagnosed or ineffectively treated, and up to 20,000 glaucoma sufferers who are still losing their sight despite being on treatment. The pressure of your eyes is the only controllable factor in glaucoma treatment but is traditionally only measured at one point in time: when you visit your optician or hospital. That is a major flaw - the pressure of your eyes may be normal at that single point in time but when you go home it may be unknowingly peaking and causing further damage.
Technological developments mean you can now be fitted with a new comfortable soft contact lens sensor for 24 hours. Embedded in this sensor are strain gauges that monitor dimensional changes in the shape of your cornea (the front of your eye). This directly correlates to your eye pressure. A tiny transmitter sends the measurements to a recorder. The sensor takes readings for 30 seconds every 5 minutes: that’s 86,400 measurements over 24 hours instead of just 1. Software then analyses the results and creates a profile of the dimensional changes which correlate to your eye pressure. Your optometrist/ophthalmologist can now tailor your treatment specifically for any peaks in pressure or identify the cause of any rise in pressure and help prevent any further loss of sight.
It is then also possible with specialist equipment to monitor minute changes in your nerve fibre layer to within 1µm. This identifies change long before any loss of sight, further improving diagnosis and monitoring.
I suspect in years to come will become a routine assessment