Researchers from the University of Liverpool in the UK are creating special spectacle lenses for people with keratoconus.
Funded by the British charity Fight for Sight and the Keratoconus Self-Help and Support Association (KC Group), the project aims to produce lenses that correct irregular astigmatism for keratoconus sufferers who struggle when they can’t wear their contact lenses.
“We have already developed a proof of concept spectacle lens which can be used by kerataconic patients,” said study lead, biomedical engineer Dr Ahmed Abass. “This funding will be used to take forward the technology and to trial it in a clinical setting. This is an important next step as we hope to take the technology forward as a clinical product, potentially leading to a major step forward in the current prescription system for patients.”
The severity of the change from wearing contact lenses to not, is greatly underestimated, said KC Group chair David Gable. “One goes from a normal functioning member of society to a dependent individual who, if it were permanent, would qualify for partially sighted benefits. If these lenses can improve acuity by one or two lines on the Snellen chart, they have the power to change lives.”
Dr Vito Romano, consultant ophthalmologist, and Andrew Tompkin, head of optometry at St. Paul’s Eye Unit, at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital are also involved in the project.