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Est:1993

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new contact lenses

The Future of Contact Lenses Is Here: Trend Guide 2022

Although Leonardo da Vinci sketched the first contact lens concept several centuries ago, the first modern lenses were introduced in 1979. Since then, scientists have continually developed new contact lenses that are more comfortable, more effective, and less likely to cause dry eyes. 

Several innovations in contact lens fabrication defined 2022. To help our customers keep up with these advances, we offer this overview. 

2022 Contact Lens Advances You Should Know About

Contact lens technology is advancing on several fronts. Advanced polymers now regulate water retention like never before. Hydrogels offer softer-than-ever base materials for increased comfort. Oxygen permeability continues to increase to help the eyes “breathe” more easily. 

HEMA

You may not have heard of HEMA, but the advanced polymers are revolutionizing contact use. The polymer regulates the amount of water than is held. This controls oxygen levels

By allowing better-controlled oxygen transmission, the lenses are better able to reduce swelling, redness, and other potential issues of the eye. 

During your next contact lens exam, be sure to ask if you are a candidate for HEMA technology. The lenses may not be ideal for people who have astigmatism or higher prescriptions.

Hydrogels

Hydrogels are basically water-retaining polymers. Advanced plastics have higher water content than traditional lenses. This allows more oxygen to reach the eyes. 

For some people, hydrogels still lead to dry eye symptoms. Hydrogels are suitable for daily use. Popular brands provided by our Houston optical center include ACUVUE® MOIST, Biotrue™ ONEday, Proclear® 1 day, and ACUVUE 2®.

Silicone Hydrogels

Silicone hydrogel accounts for the majority of current contact lens production. For people who are worried about hard-to-fit lenses, silicone hydrogel offers a blend of moisture control and comfort. 

Silicone hydrogels are often described as being more comfortable than other contact lens options. The material is more porous. The lenses tend to feel more slippery and thicker compared to alternative materials. 

These lenses do tend to accumulate debris more readily than other base materials. Common brands that fit within this type of lens include ACUVUE® OASYS 1-DAY, DAILIES TOTAL 1®, Biofinity®, and  Bausch + Lomb ULTRA.

Toric Contact Lenses for Astigmatism 

These lenses come in several designs that include a thin zone spherical base, thin zone toric base, prism ballast spherical base, and prism ballast toric base.

Toric lenses have a thicker area of the lens that allows users to keep the lens in place and do not rotate. Contact lenses work differently than spectacles even though they achieve similar goals. Your eye doctor will help you find the best design that meets your needs.

Multifocal Contact Lens Designs 

Many lenses with multifocal abilities are comprised of concentric circles. These almost look like a bulls-eye pattern. You can also find blended designs. These keep the distant and near prescriptions close to the pupil. 

What Qualities Should I Look For in My Lenses?

No matter which type of lens you opt for, keep three important lens qualities in mind. You can ask your eye care professional which brands and options offer superior oxygen permeability, water content, and optical design. 

Oxygen Permeability

Oxygen permeability is important for eye health. Any material should allow some level of oxygen to reach the surface of the eyes. 

If not, neovascularization can result. This condition can also result from sleeping in contacts or wearing contacts for too long. Long-term complications from this condition can lead to serious complications. 

The permeability is referred to as Dk/t. If you are unsure how to read these numbers, a member of our team

Water Content

Water content ranges considerably in contact lenses. Overall, water content has increased as a means of improving lens comfort. Look for lenses that contain 33% to 80% water retention.

Optical Design

Your vision is largely dependent on the base material of the lens. Manufacturers design for astigmatism and lenses that have multiple focal points. Try various brands to see which one delivers the best visual clarity. 

Pupil size, cornea shape, and the lens design can cause vision fluctuations.  

What Does the Future Hold for Contact Lenses?

Contact lenses of the future will have the ability to detect changes in tear analytes that could be a sign of the dry eye, diabetes, and cancer. These diseases emit biomarkers that reach the tear film.

These biomarkers can then be measured by nanosensors in the contact lens. Some conditions that require continual monitoring could stream data wirelessly to an external drive. The data could then be used to diagnose a disease or to take preemptive steps to prevent the onset of degenerative eye disease before it causes damage.  

Another development in the works is the ability of contact lenses to integrate optical components like a heads-up display. This form of tech has been the subject of science fiction until now. The integration of such a display could aid in viewing road signs before they would normally be visible. 

The initial application of this technology would likely be used to aid adults who have low vision. The technology could then be gradually adopted for augmented reality for any adult. 

Learn More About Advances in New Contact Lenses

New contact lenses are lighter, more breathable, and better at correcting vision problems than ever. As you prepare to renew your prescription, consider asking about one of the innovative advances mentioned in this article. Our eye specialists keep up with the latest trends so you never fall behind.

Do your online searches include “optical shop near me”? To learn more about our products and services, please contact our eye care team today. We look forward to hearing from you!

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