Amoebas Eat Contact Lens Wearer’s Eyeballs

Amoebas Eat Contact Lens Wearer's Eyeballs

Doctors hope a horrifying story out of Taiwan will help drive home the importance of proper hygiene for wearers of contact lenses. A 23-year-old student lost her eyesight after buying contact lenses that were supposed to be worn for one month and leaving them in around the clock for six months, leading to an infection by amoebas that gnawed away the corneas in both her eyes, the China Post reports. The microscopic Acanthamoeba parasite is found in environments including soil, dust, and swimming pools, and doctors believe the woman became infected after using dirty water to clean her face.

The director of ophthalmology at a Taipei hospital explains the situation to the Daily Mail: “A shortage of oxygen can destroy the surface of the epithelial tissue, creating tiny wounds into which the bacteria can easily infect, spreading to the rest of the eye and providing a perfect breeding ground.” As a 2009 study in the Journal of Ophthalmology explained, “Corneal oxygenation is significantly reduced during contact lens overwear, particularly for those who sleep in their lenses overnight.” Further, it found that “the association between [the infection known as] Acanthamoeba keratitis and contact lens wear is firmly established; it may account for up to 95% of the reported cases.” And while such infections are relatively rare, they are hard to detect until the person feels acute pain, by which time it could be too late, Medical Daily notes.

Source: newser

Google Microcamera Contact Lenses May One Day Help The Blind


Always at the forefront of technological advancement — arguably — Google has just recently applied for patents for a set of smart contact lenses, which would allow anyone wearing them to utilize a built-in micro-camera and control it with the blink of an eye.

Google detailed the systems that would allow these multi-sensor contact lenses to work last month in an application published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, Patent Bolt reported. But a wave of new applications shows that the company is serious about looking into the new invention. “This goes into the theory of Google’s experimental technologies,” Roger Kay, a tech analyst and president of Endpoint Technologies. “A lot of these are just demonstrations that Google is alert and live and creatively thinking of things.”

If the ideas come into fruition, the lenses, which would be no thicker than normal lenses, will process both still and moving image data, as well as light, colors, patters of colors, objects, faces, motion, and much more. They would be controlled by the movement of the user’s eyelids and read by multiple sensors reacting to changes in pressure, conductivity, temperature, and electrical fields. Essentially, a user would be able to control the lenses by blinking, and then perform functions based on the data on the contacts on a mobile device.

Though spy agencies would love to have the contacts in their arsenal of gadgets, Google sees a more useful approach. The contacts would help blind people get around more efficiently. In one image from the applications, Google illustrates how a blind person might use the contacts almost like artificial eyes. As they approach an intersection, the micro-camera would process how close the person is and whether cars are moving through it. If there are cars, the lenses would relay the information to the person’s mobile device, which would generate a warning. In addition to this feature, the lenses would also recognize faces.

The contacts will most likely be used by anyone who can get their hands on them, but the new applications show that Google is also focused on improving public health through technology. Google Glass can already help people eat healthier, keep track of workouts, and take medications correctly. But a more recent development in the Google tech sphere were another set of smart contact lenses capable of reading blood glucose levels in a person’s tears. While that too is still in early stages of development, the prospect that those who are visually impaired or diabetic may one day have a better handle of their condition is still pretty hopeful

Source: medical daily

No More Eye Drops? New Contact Lens Delivers Glaucoma Meds

Like a miniature donut stuffed inside a tiny pita pocket, a common glaucoma medicine is sandwiched inside this specially designed contact lens. In laboratory experiments, the lens, which can also correct vision, releases the eyesight-saving medication at a steady rate for up to a month. Its construction offers numerous potential clinical advantages over the standard glaucoma treatment and may have additional applications, such as delivering anti-inflammatory drugs or antibiotics to the eye.

Glaucoma is a group of conditions that can result in irreversible blindness. This vision loss can be reduced if glaucoma is found and treated early, most commonly with eye drops to lower pressure within the eye. But using eye drops regularly can be a challenge. And while the drops can minimize further vision loss, they don’t repair vision that’s already lost.

People using traditional eye drops for glaucoma “aren’t getting any symptomatic relief, and they’re not seeing better, so there’s not a lot of motivation to be compliant with the medication,” said Joseph Ciolino, an ophthalmologist who, along with his mentor Daniel Kohane, developed the new contact lens at Harvard Medical School.

Source: Daily me