As eye technology is evolving and improving every day, it is interesting to think about the future of eyecare, and consider where the industry is going.
From the introduction of glasses to the revolutionary contact lenses, the rise in sophisticated technologies means that the development of new and innovative products is becoming more and more common.
Catherine Chisholm, former president of the British Contact Lens Association discussed how this progression has created maximum ease of use, saying “We are moving into a new age in eye healthcare where advances in imaging technology are enabling opticians to spend less time taking measurements, and more time analysing the findings and providing patients with a tailored management plan”.
So, what developments are currently happening, and what do we expect to see in the future?
As mobile phones are so commonly used in today’s world, many opticians have begun to create and distribute applications which will assist the general public in monitoring their eye health and preventing eye damage, as well as carrying out eye examinations and eye therapy. Some recently released handsets come with a blue light filter to help prevent macular degeneration.
However, while mobile apps are useful, they cannot replace clinical judgement, and the role of an optician is still very much an important one.
First introduced as a glass lense which filled the whole eye, contact lenses are constantly being developed so that they are thinner, more comfortable and have increased longevity.
Advances for the near future include an anti-bacterial formulation, lenses which measure glucose levels in people with diabetes and 3D contact lenses for gaming.
First performed in the 1980’s, laser eye surgery is still advancing to this day. The introduction of a new procedure, which maps out and corrects every slight flaw in the eye to give eyesight twice as powerful as perfect vision, means that it’s now possible to do more than simply correct sight.
Age-related macular degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss in the United Kingdom, affecting more than 600,000 people. Studies found that, with participants who took certain vitamin supplements regularly, the risk of AMD and serious vision loss was reduced by 25 percent over six years.