Smart Contact Lenses: An Emerging Technology

Women’s eye close up adding a contact lens

Smart contact lenses may seem like something straight out of a science fiction movie, but researchers are currently developing prototypes. In fact, scientists are continually working on technological advancements to improve the lives of people with vision problems. Here's what you should know about smart contact lenses.


Current Technology

The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved the following contact lenses:

  • CooperVision’s MiSight contact lenses were developed to restore the vision of children with difficulty seeing objects that are far away (myopia) and to slow further progression. 
  • OrthoK contact lenses are worn overnight to temporarily reshape the front surface of the cornea and improve vision.
  • Transition lenses darken automatically in response to sunlight. These adaptive lenses have a photochromic filter that continuously adjusts to the level of light in the environment in order to reduce glare. They can also help protect the eyes from the harmful blue light emitted by electronic devices.  

Future Technology

Here are some up-and-coming contact lenses that are currently being designed:

  • Allergy lenses will come preloaded with antihistamines, a medicine to help alleviate itchy eyes. This will allow allergy sufferers who wear contact lenses to experience immediate relief without having to remove their contacts to apply allergy drops. 
  • Hydrogel contact lenses may protect individuals with corneal melting and other ocular diseases. It works by removing extra zinc from the cornea. 
  • Wound healing lenses are being developed to help heal eye ulcers using the cells that are left over after a corneal transplant. These cells help stimulate the body’s healing mechanisms to support faster recovery.
  • Diabetes lenses are being created to monitor blood sugar levels in patients. These lenses will have an LED light to alert the wearer when their sugar drops or rises to unhealthy levels.
  • Augmented reality lenses have a built-in visual display that can magnify images in individuals with vision loss. 
  • Smartphone lenses are being designed to allow wearers to control their phones by blinking. Samsung and other companies are also working on the ability to project photos and videos directly onto the user’s eyes. 
Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio
Dr Rohit Bhaskar, Physio Hey, I am founder of Bhaskar Health and completed my Graduation in Physiotherapy from Uttar Pradesh University of Medical Sciences. My clinical interests are in Chest Physiotherapy, stroke rehab, parkinson’s and head injury rehab.

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