American scientists from Purdue University have created contact lenses for early diagnosis of glaucoma, the second most common cause of blindness among the elderly, the university's website reported.
Glaucoma in its early stages has no symptoms, develops quickly and can deprive a person of vision. The disease affects more than 80 million people worldwide, and the only way to avoid it is to control intraocular pressure. Previous research has shown that intraocular pressure instability is associated with retinal damage and a higher risk of glaucoma progression.
Unstable intraocular pressure can only be detected by measuring it over time. For this purpose there are special lenses, equipped with a microchip, which leads to an increase in the thickness and stiffness of the lens, which in many cases causes discomfort to patients.
Scientists have developed soft contact lenses that do not cause discomfort and are suitable for continuous 24-hour monitoring of intraocular pressure even while sleeping at home. The medics have already begun a collaboration with a private company and the lenses could soon be available to doctors and patients.