Optometrists create custom contact lenses

May 13, 2009 at 3:59 PM

HOUSTON, May 13 (UPI) -- Researchers at the University of Houston's College of Optometry say they have created custom-made contact lenses for people with highly aberrated vision.

While the majority of patients with common vision problems can find glasses or contact lenses fairly easily, the researchers said others who suffer from eye diseases that affect the focus of light have more limited options and might have to learn to live with poor vision.

"The lenses we make are made for (the specific patient)," Assistant Professor Jason Marsack said. "It's like putting a fingerprint in the optics … it would not work for another individual with the same disease. It's a custom fit, a designer lens."

Marsack's team is supported by a National Eye Institute grant of $1.25 million, which researchers said will help translate the results the team has realized in laboratory trials into products that will be available for widespread clinical use.

Marsack said the new lenses not only incorporate sphere and cylinder, which are commonly corrected in glasses and contact lenses, they also correct an entire other family of aberrations, which are induced by disease, trauma or surgical interventions.

Professor Raymond Applegate said the team ultimately would like to see custom lenses become the standard of care.

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