What's new in contact lenses?

Contact lens design, materials and manufacture are constantly evolving and innovative new approaches are emerging to bring the benefits of contact lenses to even more people. The BCLA is an important forum for education and information on the latest developments in contact lenses and related areas.

Recent years have seen major steps forward including:

• A new generation of silicone hydrogel lenses with improved material properties as well as high oxygen permeability
• Improved daily disposable lenses that use various strategies to enhance comfort and relieve dryness symptoms • Daily disposable lenses in silicone hydrogel materials
• Improved toric (for astigmatism) and bifocal or multifocal (for presbyopia) designs in a range of modalities
• Soft lenses that correct both astigmatism and presbyopia
• Improved rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses for re-shaping the front of the eye overnight
• Scleral lenses made of gas permeable materials for managing certain medical eye conditions
• New formulations of contact lens solution designed specifically for use with silicone hydrogels
• Dry eye products that are sprayed onto the eyelids, products for managing eyelid conditions that can cause dry eye, and contact lens cleaners in spray form
• Daily disposable contact lenses to correct presbyopia

Advances for the near future:

• Anti-bacterial contact lenses that resist contamination
• Soft contact lenses that may slow the progress of myopia (short sight)
• Customised contact lenses to correct individual ocular irregularities
• New products that are 'bio-inspired' by nature
• Contact lenses with embedded circuitry for monitoring intraocular pressure in glaucoma
• Contact lenses that measure glucose levels in people with diabetes
• Drug delivery contact lenses that dispense medication to the eyes
• Augmented reality contact lenses
• Silver-impregnated contact lens storage cases to reduce bacterial contamination
• 3D contact lenses for gaming

Ask your eyecare practitioner about the latest advances in contact lenses and how to upgrade to the best products available.