We have all probably seen sunglasses that get darker whenever they are in bright sunlight. This is due to the UV radiations. That technology has been limited to glasses. However, FDA is working to change that and just approved the first ever contact lenses that will use photochromic technology.
The lenses will have a unique additive that will automatically darken them when they are exposed to bright light and will clear up when they are back in normal or darker lighting conditions. This won’t force the lens users to squint or wear another pair of sunglasses when they go out in the sun as they have to do currently.
“This contact lens is the first of its kind to incorporate the same technology that is used in eyeglasses that automatically darken in the sun,” said Malvina Eydelman. Eydelman serves as director of the division of ophthalmic, and ear, nose and throat devices at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.
The FDA approval came after extensive clinical studies and trials. One trial constituted of 24 wearers of the lenses to drive during the day and at night and it was found that there were no problems with driving performance or issues with the vision. A total of 1,000 patients were involved in various studies carried out by the FDA.
All of that being said, these lenses need to be worn carefully and are not for everyone. The FDA warns people with inflammation or those who get frequent eye infections and that they should not wear these contact lenses. Furthermore, anyone suffering from certain eye diseases or long-standing eye injuries should also avoid them. People who have severe dry eyes or frequent allergic reactions should also avoid these lenses as their condition might be worsened by these.
This goes without saying that you should never go to sleep while wearing these contact lenses or expose them to water. If everything goes according to plan, these lenses will be available on the market in the first half of the next year.
More than 40 million Americans use contact lenses according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This huge chunk of the population will definitely benefit from the new contact lenses.