In a previous post we mentioned we would be talking about advanced uses of contact lenses. We didn’t imagine that it would relate to diabetes! This week researchers from Google announced they have been working on a contact lens that will contain a microchip that can measure blood sugar levels from a person’s tears. This would eliminate the need for daily finger pricking. It would also allow for constant measurements throughout the day to provide a more accurate assessment of the fluctuations in blood sugar. This technology isn’t available yet as this was just an announcement on the development of a prototype–it will most likely be years before anything like this is on the market.
Any improvement in diabetes care is an improvement in eye care. Diabetes remains the number one cause of blindness in this country for people age 20-65. The gold standard of care is a yearly dilated exam. Dilation allows eye doctors to physically view the retina and check for signs of disease. Early detection is the key to preventing irreversible vision loss. Our eye doctors in Nashville and Hendersonville can help manage vision for diabetic patients—feel free to contact us for more information!
The idea to use contacts with microsensors is not a new one. Researchers for years have worked to develop contact lenses that can measure the pressure inside the eye constantly while being worn. This would be very helpful in managing glaucoma. Medicated contact lenses are being researched to potentially replace eye drops. In the future eye doctors may not have to prescribe drops several times a day but rather fit the patient in a contact lens impregnated with medication.
Here’s a link to an article about Google’s new contact lens model: Google’s New Contact Model