For younger readers with perfect eyesight, here’s something you might not know – glasses and contact lenses don’t do anything to cure nearsightedness, they only help compensate for it. In fact, the wearer’s vision often continues to deteriorate as they age. Now, however, a team of scientists have developed special contact lenses that they claim can
halt the condition if it’s caught in childhood.
If you suffer from hyperopia, more commonly known as farsightedness or longsightedness, you may be interested to know that the world's first contact lens to correct the condition has been developed. The correction, however, is temporary – a custom-made lens is worn overnight to reshape the cornea, and when the patient wakes up and removes the lens they have perfect vision for the day.
Until now, an eye test has meant a trip to the optometrist for most people. NETRA, from MIT's Media Lab, is set to change that. Combined with a modern mobile phone, the US$2 device allows eye glass prescriptions to be produced simply and quickly in any location. Preliminary testing has shown that it can achieve results comparable to the standard aberrometer test and clinical trials are due to begin shortly. Initially targeting parts of Africa and Asia, the company responsible for manufacture, PerfectSight, is expecting the product to be a boon for the developing world, where the sophisticated equipment currently required for eyesight tests has been cost prohibitive.