Contact Lens for Those with Macular Degeneration

Contact Lens for Those with Macular Degeneration

Posted on Jul.08, 2013, under Educational, Eye Conditions, Eye Health, Guest Blogger, Living With Low Vision, Low Vision Info, Low Vision Tips, The Eye

There has been lots of news recently regarding the FDA approved CentraSight implant for those with end stage macular degeneration. The telescope is implanted in one eye much like a lens is implanted in those with a cataract. After a patient receives the implant, several weeks of training with a low vision clinic is required to optimize the use of this visual aid. With many Medicare insurance policies providing coverage and many new eye specialists being trained, more and more patients are appreciating the benefits of improved vision. Other patients with AMD find that telescope mounted glasses offer improved vision for seeing the world around them. The benefit of being able to see faces, street signs, and pretty gardens outweighs the strange appearance of these binocular glasses.

Another new technology is on the horizon that does not require any surgery or the obvious appearance of odd looking glasses. It is called a telescopic contact lens. Thanks to the collaboration between engineer, Eric Tremblay of École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne in Switzerland and a team of researchers from the University of California San Diego, a telescopic contact lens has been created that in the future may benefit those with macular degeneration. “For a visual aid to be accepted it needs to be highly convenient and unobtrusive,” says Eric Tremblay, the co-author of Switchable Telescopic Contact Lens, an article that was posted in the Optical Society’s journal, Optics Express.

What makes this vision aid different and unique is that a contact lens is less noticeable and more attractive than telescopic glasses and more convenient than surgery and low vision rehab. The lens will work by magnifying incoming light and spreading the light to the undamaged parts of the retina. The magnifying portion of the lens will magnify 2.8 times and will help patients with their ability to read, identify faces and to remain more independent.

Another interesting feature is that the ability to switch between normal vision and magnified vision will be possible. The center of the lens will provide unmagnified vision and the telescope that circles around the periphery of the lens will offer the 2.8 times magnification.

Ever hear of liquid crystal glasses? They are used in some high tech eye glasses where a

simple electrical impulse changes the liquid crystals. The crystals change how the lenses refract or bend light. The wearer can select whether he/she wants to use the magnified feature of the lens or the unmagnified lens.

Look for more updates on this vision aid for macular degeneration and other low vision technology here:

Low Vision Technology

Leslie Degner, RN, BSN