Here’s good news for wearers of contact lenses: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first contact lens to incorporate an additive that automatically darkens the lens when exposed to bright light. The contact lenses, Acuvue Oasys Contact Lenses with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology, are soft contact lenses designed for people with non-diseased eyes who are nearsighted (myopia) or farsighted (hyperopia). The lenses can be used by people with certain degrees of astigmatism, an abnormal curvature of the eye.
The contact lenses contain a photochromic additive that adapts the amount of visible light filtered to the eye based on the amount of UV light to which they are exposed. This results in slightly darkened lenses in bright sunlight that automatically return to a regular tint when exposed to normal or dark lighting conditions.
“This contact lens is the first of its kind to incorporate the same technology that is used in eyeglasses that automatically darken in the sun,” said Malvina Eydelman, director of the Division of Ophthalmic, and Ear, Nose and Throat Devices at the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.
The FDA approved Acuvue’s lenses after reviewing scientific evidence, including a clinical study of 24 patients that evaluated daytime and nighttime driving performance while wearing the contact lenses. The results of the study demonstrated there was no evidence of concerns with either driving performance or vision while wearing the lenses.
These contacts are intended for daily wear for up to 14 days. Patients should not sleep in these contact lenses, expose them to water or wear them longer than directed by an eye care professional. Also, the contacts should not be used as substitutes for UV protective eyewear.
In addition, patients with these conditions should not use the contacts: those having inflammation or infection in or around the eye or eyelids; any eye disease, injury or abnormality that affects the cornea, conjunctiva, or eyelids; and any previously diagnosed condition that makes contact lens wear uncomfortable.