Enormous research is being done in the U.S particularly, to learn what causes glaucoma and to improve its diagnosis and treatment. A result of one such research is “smart contact lenses”. These smart contact lenses are supposed to measure pressure within the eye and dispense medication accordingly and this could be made possible using a new material developed by biomedical engineers at UC Davis. They have developed a method for placing powdered silver on a material called polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) in a precise pattern, to create conductive wires. The silver also has antimicrobial properties. The researchers were able to shape the PDMS-silver into a contact-lens shape, and show that it could function as a simple pressure sensor. A contact lens that could continuously measure pressure within the eye and relay the data to a computer would allow doctors to learn more about glaucoma and improve patient treatment. The researchers plan to apply for approval to begin trials of the lenses in humans.
Smart contact lenses to treat glaucoma
Glaucoma is a dreadful disease that affects the eye's optic nerve and results in vision loss and blindness. Glaucoma occurs when the normal fluid pressure inside the eyes slowly rises and damages the optic nerve. One of the leading causes of blindness worldwide, glaucoma has been rightly nicknamed the "sneaky thief of sight" because the loss of visual field often occurs gradually over a long time and may only be recognized when it is already quite advanced. As the disease progresses, a person with glaucoma may notice his or her side vision gradually failing. They would not be able to se things from the corner of the eye and in due course, without any treatment they will slowly lose their peripheral (side) vision. They seem to be looking through a tunnel. Over time, straight-ahead vision may decrease until no vision remains. There is no complete cure for this disease but with early diagnosis and treatment, one can protect the eyes against serious vision loss. Know more the risk factors for glaucoma, types of glaucoma, treatments available for glaucoma and other facts from here.