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Pressure Sensors Fitted Into Contact Lenses Measure Glaucoma Risk

Advanced Contact Lenses that are fitted with a miniaturised pressure sensor can help detect signs of Glaucoma, a disease of the eye affecting around 65 million people across the world.

In Glaucoma, pressure builds up within the eyeball and this causes irreparable damage to the optic nerve resulting in blindness. Dr. Kaweh Mansouri, who is with the Hamilton Glaucoma Center of the University of California, explained that the intraocular pressure (IOP) was the only parameter that helps detect Glaucoma. Through constant monitoring of the IOP they were able to give a customized treatment plan for each patient. The best way to treat Glaucoma was slow down the progression of the disease by constant monitoring.

Dr. Mansouri elaborated on the advanced contact lens at the Asia Pacific Academy of Ophthalmology (APAO) Congress in Sydney. The tiny sensor made of platinum and titanium was able to detect the fluctuations in the IOP during night time, which usually went unseen during clinical tests. The sensor detects these fluctuations based on the changes in the cornea’s curvature. The readings are received by the antennae located around the patient’s eye and are transmitted to the device on the patient. This data can be transferred onto the doctor’s desktop at the end of the 24-hours. A study conducted on a group of 30 patients having open-angle glaucoma revealed that the IOP peaked during the time they were asleep.

Through the constant monitoring of the IOP, Dr Mansouri is confident that we can prevent further damage to the optic nerve and avoid a condition of total blindness. Based on the measurements taken by the sensor he was able to suitably alter the line of treatment for his patients. He is confident that the advanced contact lenses could even be used on patients who have the likelihood of getting Glaucoma. Two patients who already had a dry eye problem along with Glaucoma were very uncomfortable wearing the lens.



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