A contact lens designed to deliver medication gradually to the eye could improve outcomes for glaucoma patients requiring treatment with eye drops, which are often imprecise and difficult to self-administer.
The novel contact lens-based system, which uses a strategically placed drug polymer film to deliver medication gradually to the eye, is at least as effective, and possibly more so, as daily latanoprost eye drops in a pre-clinical model for glaucoma, the findings showed.
“We found that a lower dose contact lens delivered the same amount of pressure reduction as the latanoprost drops, and a higher dose lens, interestingly enough, had better pressure reduction than the drops in our small study,” said first author Joseph Ciolino, ophthalmologist at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in the US.
“Based on our preliminary data, the lenses have not only the potential to improve compliance for patients, but also the potential of providing better pressure reduction than the drops,” Ciolino, who is also an Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, noted.
Glaucoma is the leading cause of irreversible blindness in the world. While there is no cure for glaucoma, ocular medications aim to lower pressure in the eye with the goal of preventing vision loss.
Currently, the medications are delivered as eye drops, which sometimes cause stinging and burning, can be difficult to self-administer and are subsequently associated with poor patient compliance, with some studies suggesting that compliance is as low as 50 per cent, reports internet.