Visionary New Contacts Deliver Drugs Straight Through The Eyeball
The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades
Contact lenses may be doing more than just temporarily correcting vision, according to a new study released Monday by the journal Ophthalmology. Massachusetts-based doctors are developing new flexible lenses that will be able to effectively deliver drugs into the eyeballs of patients suffering from glaucoma or other eye diseases, saving them the hassle and discomfort of self-administering medicine.
While the idea of using contact lenses as a vehicle for eye medicine is not necessarily new, there had always been a road block as contacts previously could only deliver one bigger batch of medicine all at once, but this new approach, led by Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary ophthalmologist Joseph B. Ciolino, focuses on a slow-release delivery system. To ensure the drug is deployed at the proper pace, Ciolino and company encase the Latanoprost (a glaucoma medication) with slow-dissolving polymers that provided a more continuous release of medicine in the four monkeys who were used as test subjects. Presumably, Ciolino hasn’t tried to deploy any ‘party drugs’ through his lenses because that would almost definitely hurt a lot.
Doctors like Ciolino are focusing so much on medicine delivery because eye drops are notoriously underused, with as many as one in two patients prescribed eye drops not following through with their treatment. Perhaps with an easier method of treatment, millions might be saved from preventable blindness. Until the method is widespread, there’s still the highly-enjoyable, but short-term herbal treatment for glaucoma.