CLEAR Report Paper 10: Contact lens technologies of the future

Innovation holds the key to the future of contact lenses – with opportunities being explored to make the most of the technology available and maximise the potential of a device that offers so much more than simply vision correction.

The final paper in a series to be released as part of the new Contact Lens Evidence-based Academic Reports (CLEAR) – a global consensus report put together by the BCLA – looks at the future of contact lens practice and provides a fascinating glimpse into some of the potential uses for contact lenses in years to come.

Originally invented to correct refractive error, contact lenses have become a successful, convenient and widely used commodity for this purpose. However, looking forward into the not-so-distant future, the potential applications for these devices are proliferating to uses where vision correction is often not the main intention. 

The report describes some of the amazing developments underway to use contacts for the diagnosis and screening of ocular and systemic disease, treatment of a variety of diseases, unique optical enhancements for low vision, sports enhancement and presbyopia and the potential to use contact lenses for entertainment and educational reasons.

The paper’s first author is Professor Lyndon Jones, with co-authors Dimitri Azar, John Buch, Joseph Ciolino, Alex Hui, Shehzad Naroo, Brian Pall, Chau-Min Phan, Michael Read, Kathleen Romond, Padmaja Sankaridurg, Cristina Schnider and Louise Terry.

Professor Lyndon Jones said: “This report describes opportunities for contact lenses that are incredibly exciting and futuristic. 

“It is safe to say that the future for contacts is very bright and this report will be well worth reading for anyone interested in what the contact lens practice of the future will look like. I was fascinated by what people are working on and I am sure readers of the report will be too.”

The paper, titled ‘Contact Lens Technologies of the Future’, will be released as part of a new series of evidence-based guidance available to eye care professionals around the world on all aspects of prescribing and fitting contact lenses as part of a concerted drive to provide the best possible patient care. 

CLEAR, made possible by educational grants from Alcon and CooperVision, will be published in the April 2021 issue of the BCLA journal ‘Contact Lens and Anterior Eye’ and will feature work from panels of globally respected experts. 

It will set the standard to which researchers and eye care professionals will refer for the latest information in the field and will also highlight potential opportunities for future research.