Contact lenses enter digital development - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Contact lenses enter digital age

From science fiction to science fact, new contact lenses can measure cholesterol levels, heal wounds and cure dry eyes.

According to University of Washington's Wired, scientists at the university are developing wired lenses. From measuring cholesterol to sugar levels, these high tech contacts can keep track of your vital signs using a very tiny LED powered by radio frequencies.

"People will be able to transmit their vital signs onto a telephone or an app or to their doctors directly. For a diabetic, if their sugar levels are up, they can pick it up very quickly," explained optometrist Dr. Melvin Gehrig.

He added that eyes provide the perfect surface for doctors to monitor your health.

"The tear layer of the eye provides a lot of the enzymes, sugar levels and cholesterol levels of the whole body," he continued. "They're very accessible because they're in your tears all the time."

Other futuristic lenses include contacts that act like a Band-Aid for the eye. Lenses covered in antibiotics can be used to treat different eye problems.

He also said researchers are working on lenses that help glaucoma patients avoid using daily drops.

"The contacts actually have the glaucoma drops embedded in them. They're in testing, but they are very, very close in testing," said Dr. Gehrig.

Contacts that relieve dry eyes are already on the market.

"I think that's the major reason people stop wearing contacts, is because of dry eye problems," said Dr. Gehrig.

He predicts the digital contacts will not hit the market for a few years, but he adds that technology rolls out faster and faster everyday.

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