Researchers have come up with an innovative new contact lens that could help people with color blindness.
FREMONT, CA: Color blindness or color vision deficiency is an inherited condition that means it isn't very easy to identify specific colors and differentiate between them. There has never been a cure for color blindness. Options currently available to help include color filtering glasses and special contact lenses.
A research team from the Tel Aviv University in Israel has come up with a way to convert contact lenses into color correcting devices that improve color perception about tenfold. The researchers were able to apply some special metasurfaces, that are in the form of color correcting devicescolor correcting devices onto conventional contact lenses.
While this study showed that it is possible to address deuteranomaly using new contact lenses, the research team believes that the same approach can be used to correct other varieties of color blindness and even different types of vision disorders.
While metasurfaces that can manipulate light in exciting ways have existed for years, they have been typically flat and made independent of different other devices. The Tel Aviv University team came up with a method to transfer the metasurfaces from flat to curved surfaces, like the contact lenses.
Surprisingly, even though they were no longer flat, the metasurfaces had the same light manipulation characteristics as in their deflated state. The analyst applied a simulation of color perception through the new contact lenses outfitted with the metasurfaces and showed that the devices are capable of restoring proper color vision permanently.
This is still in the lab stage, and clinical trials will be very necessary to make sure that the technology works well in a real-world setting. Besides, it also seems that soon people with color blindness will be able to achieve the proper vision by merely wearing a pair of contact lenses.