A bionic lens developed by Ocumetics Technology Corporation's optometrist Garth Webb could mean the end of eyeglasses and contact lenses.
The "Ocumetics Bionic Lens" allows patients to have vision up to three times better than 20/20. It can also fix conditions that entail different treatments to be corrected such as near and far sightedness, cataracts and astigmatism.
The Ocumetics' website explained that the Bionic Lens needs to be implanted into the eye albeit the procedure only takes eight minutes. The operation is similar to surgery for treating cataract, which involves removing the lens inside the eye and replacing it with an artificial lens.
The procedure is likewise described as painless. It neither requires the use of anesthesia nor an overnight stay at the hospital.
The lens is placed in the eye using a saline solution-filled syringe and in just about 10 second, the bionic lens, which is initially folded like a tattoo for implant, unravels over the eye immediately correcting the eye sight.
Webb said that the implant makes images sharper and there is no time lag when the focus is shifted. He added that the lens was not only designed to provide beyond-perfect vision. It can also protect the patient's natural lens from damage and decay.
"Ocumetics Technology Corporation is pleased to announce the development of one of the world's most advanced intraocular lenses, one that is capable of restoring quality vision at all distances, without glasses, contact lenses or corneal refractive procedures, and without the vision problems that have plagued current accommodative and multifocal intraocular lens designs," Ocumetics said.
The optometrist said that people do not have to wait for the time when they would have to rely on glasses because getting the bionic lens is a preventative move. Those who get the lens implanted would not suffer from cataracts because the natural lenses of the eyes, which are prone to decay, will be replaced with artificial ones.
It appears that users do not also have to worry about the safety of using the bionic lens because it is made of materials that do not cause biophysical changes within the eye. The quality of the vision will not also deteriorate over time. Webb said that the lens can last 100 year. Once approved, the lens plus the surgery cost are expected to fetch about $1,000.
The Ocumetics Bionic Lens could become available by 2017 but it will only be for individuals who are 25 years old or above because eye structures are not yet formed until this age.
Photo: Helga Birna Jónasdóttir | Flickr