Following a procedure, patients are sometimes frustrated with the cost and inconvenience of post-operative eye drops. While the benefits of modern cataract surgery and vision correction surgery far outweigh these minor annoyances, researchers are constantly seeking new ways to improve the convenience, comfort and cost of post-operative recovery process for patients.
Currently, a research team at Rowan and Auburn University is tackling this problem through the development of soft contact lenses that slowly release various medications into the eyes.
This may soon improve postoperative recovery for millions of people each year who undergo cataract and even LASIK surgery, or those who suffer corneal abrasions. The technology could even replace the need for conventional eye drop therapy.
How Does It Work?
The extended-wear contact lens controls the release of anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and pain-reducing drugs that are delivered evenly over time. These new lenses can potentially increase comfort and reduce recovery time.
Compliance with pre- and postoperative eye drops is a major concern. The therapeutic drug-releasing contact lenses are expected to provide consistent coverage, mitigating concentration peaks and valleys associated with multiple drops. In addition to post surgery patients, these lenses may someday be used to treat other persistent eye diseases, including dry eye and glaucoma.
Clinical studies will be carried out later this year, and the phase 2 human trials may begin as early as 2019.