AMD is the biggest cause of sight loss in Britain with sufferers losing their ability to see in the centre of their field of vision, making it difficult to read and recognise faces. Sufferers, therefore, need to use their peripheral vision instead. This ability will be made easier by the contact lenses. Dame Judi Dench, the actress, suffers from the condition and now says she struggles to read scripts as a result.
Dr Eric Tremblay, a designer from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, said the magnifying contacts would allow people with sight loss to read text more easily and see faces. Presenting a working prototype at an annual science conference in California, he said: “The contact lens has a very thin telescope built into it — it allows you to have magnified vision. So it makes the object that you look at bigger.
“The most compelling reason why you would want to have this is to help people with serious visual problems, such as macular degeneration, or other retinal illnesses where people have severe vision loss. “In a lot of cases magnification is very useful. So what people usually use are head-mounted telescopes which don’t work for everything.”
The lenses have tiny telescopes built into the centre which work in the same way as looking through binoculars. To activate the lens, users must be paired with specially adapted glasses that recognise winks, but ignore blinks. Via New contact lenses will help people see with inbuilt telescope