Today there are about 253 million people in the world who suffer from some type of visual impairment. The five most common diseases are cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, glaucoma and retinal detachment. The use of smart lenses may be able to treat eye conditions better than any conventional lens.
Smart lenses not only sharpen vision, they are also designed to help with many other diseases. They can carry a cordless chip and a miniature sensor. Thanks to this, you can track physiological parameters. Such as glucose levels in the tears of diabetic patients or eye pressure in patients with glaucoma.
Intraocular pressure (IOP) is one of the risk factors for glaucoma. IOP is the pressure exerted by liquids that are present within the eyeball. When there is a balance between the production and elimination of that liquid called, aqueous humor, the pressure remains constant. However, if this balance did not exist, the optic nerve would be pressed by that fluid and vision problems such as glaucoma may occur.
The above image shows a scheme of the aforementioned balance of aqueous humor production in the ciliary body (red arrows) and drainage through different pathways (green and orange arrows).
When a patient has glaucoma, it can be difficult to know if the disease will progress slowly or rapidly, until the patient is deprived of his vision. A smart contact lens could help solve this problem.
A new study published in the journal Ophthalmology in April shows that electronic signals from an intelligent contact lens can help predict which patient with glaucoma can have a faster-moving version of the disease.
IMPORTANCE OF PIO IN THE GLAUCOMA
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of vision loss that affects millions of people.
Patients with glaucoma should check their intraocular pressure regularly. However, what happens with the intraocular pressure between one or another control appointment or during the night is still a mystery, that if we could decipher it could tell us more about this disease that steals vision. To help record eye pressure over time, the scientists created an intelligent contact lens capable of indirectly and continuously measuring intraocular pressure.
OPERATION OF THE CONTACT LENSES
A sensor in the contact lens detects changes in curvature. As the pressure fluctuates during the day and at night, the lens curve changes. This generates an electrical signal that is sent to a wireless device where these signals are recorded. Similar to the recording of an electrocardiogram, the profile of these smart lens signals indirectly shows pressure changes over time.