Contact Lens Turns The Human Eye Into a Telescope

Contact Lens Turns The Human Eye Into a Telescope

Researchers have created a potential solution to prevent the leading cause of blindness in adults.

Lara Piras
  • 28 june 2013

Researchers from the US and Switzerland have created contact lenses for people suffering from age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of blindness among older adults.

Day-to-day contact lenses only refocus the eye and do virtually nothing when trying to correct vision loss as a result of retina damage. However these new lenses have tightly fitting mirror surfaces that create a telescopic effect and are able to magnify the person’s vision.


They work by catching the magnified light and allowing it to spread out and hit the parts of the retina that are still functioning. The product can also come with a special pair of liquid crystal glasses that allows the wearer to choose whether to have the lenses magnified or not.

Researcher Eric Tremblay explains,

In the future, it will hopefully be possible to go after the core of the problem with effective treatments or retinal prosthetics. The ideal is really for magnifiers to become unnecessary. Until we get there, however, contact lenses may provide a way to make AMD a little less debilitating.

The project is currently being funded by DARPA and the team are researching further before the product will be ready to retail.

Read the whole paper here.



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