It’s estimated that about 500,000 Canadians are blind or partially sighted and about 5.5 million more have an eye disease that could cause sight loss. The top three causes of blindness in our country are cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma.1 With new technological developments, there could be a new—and better—way to fight eye disease.
Scientists at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore have developed a contact lens with nine biodegradable microneedles. The needles are thinner than a single strand of hair and are filled with drugs to fight eye disease. Once the contact lens has been inserted into the eye, the microneedles break off in the cornea and release the drug before dissolving.
This method of delivering drugs is an improvement over methods currently used. Eye injections can cause infections or eye damage and drops/ointments aren’t always precise as tears could wash away the medicine. The scientists from NTU believe that their microneedle contact lenses could help treat conditions like glaucoma and macular degeneration better. Even though the process sounds uncomfortable, researchers have said the microneedles are painless and the application is minimally invasive.
Eye health is important to Hakim Optical and we applaud these steps in improving the treatment of eye disease that affects so many Canadians.
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1 CNIB. “Blindness in Canada.” Retrieved on January 21, 2019 from https://cnib.ca/en/sight-loss-info/blindness/blindness-canada?region=on