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Medicated Contacts

April 14, 2010

Contact lenses impregnated with vitamin E can deliver glaucoma medicine directly to the eye.


Drugs that make eye contact…I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Contact lenses already correct less-than-perfect vision. Now, they might also be a way to treat more serious eye diseases, like glaucoma. This according to University of Florida, Gainesville chemical engineer Anuj Chauhan. He and his colleagues have developed contacts that deliver drugs to the eye for up to a month. He says medicated contacts would improve upon eye drops for glaucoma.

ANUJ CHAUHAN (University of Florida):
There is less wastage because most of the drug released by a contact lens actually goes into the cornea…The drug that is going to the cornea now is obviously not going to the other organs, so you have less side effects. And also there’s higher compliance.

The lenses contain vitamin E, which slows down the drug as it enters the eye. The researchers think they could be ready for testing in people in about two years. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the science society.