Contact lens designs have come a long way. This is certainly the case when we are talking about presbyopia. But despite all of our advances, a multifocal fit can still be quite challenging. An understanding of lens mechanics quickly demonstrates why we find ourselves in these fitting situations. Inevitably we are often left sacrificing a little distance or a little near acuity. Whether referencing diffractive, aspheric, concentric or alternating designs, our limitations have everything to do with the physical properties of lens.
But what if we could alter those properties? Is there room for a revolution in presbyopic contact lenses? Researchers have taken that charge and have set out to completely change how we look at multifocal lens designs. Using a plastic-based liquid crystal contact lens, researchers are enabling “switchable” vision. Triggered by a voltage stimulus, these liquid crystal lenses are able to change their refractive status by altering their refractive index. Imaging confirms that the lens can increase its optical power up to +2.00D1.
The age of electronic contact lenses is here. While much research is still required in this area, these proposals are promising for our industry.
- Milton HE, Morgan PB, Clamp JH, Gleeson HF. Electronic liquid crystal contact lenses for the correction of presbyopia. Opt Express. 2014 Apr 7;22(7):8035-40