Image for illustrative purpose only. Photo Credit: Dmitry Marchenko/EyeEm via Getty ImagesHealth South Korea
A Futuristic Lens… That Can Treat Glaucoma!
Patients dealing with glaucoma could soon use a smart contact lens developed by a team of researchers affiliated with Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH) in South Korea to administer the treatment as soon as pressure is detected on the affected eye.
“We hope the early commercialization of the newly developed theranostic smart contact lens for diagnosing and treating glaucoma intraocular pressure [can] provide glaucoma patients’ compliance,” states Sei Kwang Hahn, a POSTECH professor, and the study’s lead author.
Glaucoma is due to an accumulation of fluid in the eyes, creating a bubble that applies extra pressure that damages the optical nerve over time. First, symptoms include blurriness and slight weakening of the peripheral sight, but eventually, the field of vision is entirely compromised. Treatable yet incurable, glaucoma can be managed through the use of prescription eye drops. POSTECH’s department of materials, science, and engineering has developed a futuristic treatment in the form of a smart contact lens fitted with hollow nanowires made of gold for sensors that track intraocular pressure (IOP) on a constant basis. Based on the diagnostic data, doses of medication are delivered directly onto the eyeball, on demand. With this technology, there would be no need to check IOP levels since the contact lens remains permanently on the affected eye.