Federal health regulators on Tuesday, April 10, have approved the use of the first contact lenses that can act like sunglasses.

ACUVUE OASYS With Transitions

Exposure to harmful lighting situations such as artificial light and UV rays can have unwanted impacts on comfort, vision, and health of the eye. Some individual compensate for harsh lighting environments by squinting, dimming the lights, and shielding their eyes.

The contact lens called ACUVUE OASYS with Transitions automatically adapts to lighting conditions, which helps the eye manage different types of light and varying brightness intensities throughout the day.

"We are excited to bring to market a solution to help contact lenses wearers manage the changing light conditions they face every day in their modern, active lives," Xiao-Yu Song, Global Head of R&D for Johnson & Johnson Vision, said in a statement.

Light-Adaptive Technology

The contact lens helps correct the vision of people without any eye disease who are nearsighted or farsighted. It can also be used by people with some degree or astigmatism, a problem that causes distorted images.

Malvina Eydelman, from FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health, said that the contact lens is the first of its kind that use the same technology behind eyeglasses that automatically darkens when exposed to the sun. The lens darkens when exposed to bright light and becomes clear again in 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 Eydelman said.

Proper Use

The soft contact lenses can be used daily for up to 14 days. Patients are advised not to sleep in these contact lenses, expose them to water, and use them longer than directed. People with eye infection, redness, and other eye problems should not wear the contact lens.

Not A Substitute For Sunglasses And Other UV-Absorbing Eyewear

Although the contact lens come with a light-adaptive technology, it is not intended for use as a substitute for protective UV-absorbing eyewear such as sunglasses or UV-absorbing sunglasses.

UV blocking contact lenses can help provide protection for the eye against harmful UV radiation but clinical studies have not yet shown that wearing these types of contact lenses can reduce the risk for cataracts and other eye disorders associated with long-term exposure to UV radiation.

The contact lens neither completely covers the eyes and their surrounding area so wearers are still advised to continue using UV-absorbing eyewear.

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