What's New with Contact Lenses?
We at EyeCandy’s take pride in keeping our beloved eyewear family up to date on the latest trends and enhancements in your favorite accessory - contact lenses!
So, what’s new in 2021? We’re happy to report - LOTS!
As we all know - there truly is no “Plan-et B!” So, it’s increasingly important to care for the only Earth we’ve got! Recycling of paper, plastic, and metal have become everyday healthy habits for many of us. More and more people choose sustainably farmed food and there’s more information than ever available on ethical business practices. So, it’s only natural that top eye care manufacturers are also developing ways to care for our environment. In fact, CooperVision has partnered with Plastic Bank to develop a “plastic neutral” contact lens. While you won’t be wearing lenses crafted from recycled material, for each box of their new Clariti lenses sold in the United States, CooperVision will fund an equal amount of plastic waste to be recycled and repurposed. So, you can demonstrate your commitment to the environment with your choice in lenses!
Allergy Relief (at last!)
A recent study conducted by Johnson and Johnson reports that 8 in 10 contact wearers experience eye irritation and frustration while wearing their contacts during allergy season. In response, Johnson & Johnson Vision has applied for (and received) approval in Japan to release a contact lens infused with an antihistamine to combat eye allergy symptoms such as itchiness. This is just the first approval in their attempt to provide the lenses globally. The lenses contain the same active ingredient used in eye drops - so they can simultaneously correct vision and provide relief from common allergies. In trials, wearers reported experiencing relief within 15 minutes of application and for up to 12 hours. We can’t wait to give them a try!
A new paper recently announced some of pretty incredible technological advancements in the area of contact lenses. There is new evidence that the tear film of the outer surface of the eye may be able to detect and diagnose not only ocular issues (problems of vision) - but systemic diseases as well. This could include diabetes and cancer.
For example, diabetics may be able to use contact lenses to detect changes in glucose levels in tears. There is currently research using chip technology to measure glucose.
This same paper also suggests the use of contact lenses to more accurately administer medication. In particular, it is believed that medication for dry eye disease could be provided through the contact lenses - and without the common side effects of the current methods. Administering medication via the lens rather than traditional eye drops can also lead to more accurate and controllable dosing.
In 2020 and beyond, one thing on the forefront of everyone’s minds is cleanliness and prevention of infections - viral and otherwise. The paper mentioned above also suggests new technological advances in manufacturing contact lenses with antimicrobial properties. This could be a key step in preventing microbial keratitis, which can result in not only red eye but peripheral ulcers. Some lenses are being developed integrating silver into the contact material to prevent bacterial growth. Microbial keratitis is commonly developed as a result of wearing contact lenses overnight. We strongly recommend wearing your lenses only as long as recommended by the manufacturer. But it certainly can’t hurt to have antimicrobial lenses as a backup plan for those nights you doze off before your bedtime routine.
Another exciting development in the world of contact lenses is the ability to correct colorblindness. New lenses containing gold nanoparticles have been used to correct red-green color deficiency. The most common color blindness is the inability to differentiate red from green. Though colorblindness is not uncommon (particularly in men) and those with it are able to live very normal lives, there are certainly benefits to being able to see the full spectrum of colors. And a contact lens able to make that type of difference in anyone’s life is pretty fantastic, if you ask us! These lenses are very similar to the popular soft contacts currently on the market with a high water content for flexibility and comfort.
Slower Myopia Progression
Recent studies have shown that new, specialty contact lenses can actually help slow myopia progression when worn regularly. A long-term study showed that these lenses were not only comfortable and safe for younger wearers, but also helped maintain vision levels for longer than the contacts worn by the control group. So, not only can your contacts help you see better - they can even help you keep the vision you have. That’s pretty impressive!
As you can see, the world of contact lenses is only getting better with time. And we’ll be here along the way to keep you updated and ensure you’re treating your peepers to the best of the best eyewear on the market!