back to article Boffins build telescopic contact lenses to battle blindness

An international research team has built a set of contact lenses designed to help those of us getting on a bit in years, which can magnify vision up to x2.8 and be worn all day. As the body ages, the central part of the retina can decay, and age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Work faster

    My eyes will need something like this in 5-10 years if they keep slipping.

    1. Euripides Pants
      Coat

      Re: slipping eyes

      If your eyes are slipping perhaps you'd benefit more from some sort of adhesive or an eye bra.

  2. lunatik96

    I'll take the bionic eye

    I would prefer to have a direct optic nerve connection with a zoom lens that also does infrared and ultraviolet.

    Until then I will get arm extenders.

  3. lunatik96

    I'll take the bionic eye

    give me an optical nerve implant or longer arms.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'll take the bionic eye

      Or you could do what I've seen some people do, and just hold the book in your feet if your arms are too short.

      (The person I saw doing this had infinitesimally small arms… a less than handy ailment to be born with.)

    2. Wzrd1

      Re: I'll take the bionic eye

      I've been suffering from the dreaded short arm syndrome for a handful of years now.

      Rather than get arm extensions or use my feet, I simply wear my reading glasses.

      Though, I did learn to not wear the glasses hanging from my shirt when I'm not using them, burned one of my shirts one fine summer day, as well as a small part of my chest.

  4. CCCP
    WTF?

    Glad to see (sort of)...

    That other commentards are also running out of arms.

    In other news, the PADI dive chart is ridiculously small print. So do these things stay on under water? Expensive to lose. (I know you don't need to read it there, but just asking)

    1. DragonLord

      Re: Glad to see (sort of)...

      You're not supposed to wear contact lenses underwater unless you've got water tight goggles or mask and it's not going to leak. Something to do with bacteria getting under the lens and not being cleared away when you blink.

      1. Triggerfish

        Re: Glad to see (sort of)...

        My soft contacts stay on underwater when diving on those occasions I have had to remove a mask, I would think hard lenses would not.

        However as the poster above says if you do, its worth taking them out on deco times or when you are back on shore and giving them a good rinse, there's loads of bacteria in see water especially tropical waters. (Same reason you shouldn't dive with open wounds if you dive a lot).

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Zoom mode!

    Obviously, they need to find a way to switch these without the glasses, and then mount the remote for that on the chest region.

    Then finally, human Kryten can have his zoom mode!

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Zoom mode!

      I can imagine many crashes on the beach as those with zoom lenses miss the approach of those wearing glass who are desperately trying not to look like filming pervs while reading 50 shades of budgie smuggler filler.

      I shall of course be videoing this all, as I have for years, unnoticeably from the side with a small prism on my phone.

    2. Wzrd1

      Re: Zoom mode!

      Let's see now. Put on contacts, then put on glasses to read.

      As opposed to putting on glasses to read.

      Or using a magnifying lens unit to magnify distances, as we don't have devices called telescopes yet, nor the ability to make compact, low powered ones.

      Otherwise, we'd have things called cameras and zoom lenses for them.

  6. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
    Unhappy

    Bugger!

    Good work chaps.

    But I use 5x magnification, and I've got mercury poisoning from the NHS' last experiment on me with contact lenses. So it looks like I'll have to wait for something else.

    Apparently, in the 70s, it was considered sensible to use mercury as an element of contact lens cleaning solution. Admittedly with a rinse to get most of it off afterwards. I'm not quite sure what part of bio-accumulative toxin they hadn't understood, but I'm not sure I can ever wear lenses again. Applying mercury directly into your eyes hurts by the way. I don't recommend it...

  7. mIRCat
    Boffin

    I'll get you Gadget.

    Go go Gadget glasses™.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: I'll get you Gadget.

      Well if you're going to do that, surely it would be easier to do 'Go Go Gadget Arms'?

  8. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Boffin

    Holy s**t

    That's some tricky optical engineering. Check the number of reflections going on those light paths.

    Thumbs up for this. But I see just one small difficulty.

    What proportion of codgers seniors wear contact lenses?

    Only it seems a bit fiddly for those whose eye/hand coordination is not quite what it was.

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Pint

      Re: Holy s**t

      A mate of mine was over one weekend. We had several drinks. Then several more. Such that I had to pour him into a taxi, and help him through the front door. He couldn't stand up without support, and yet, with me holding him up was able to take out his contact lenses perfectly (without poking his own eyes out) and go through all the rigmarole of washing/rinsing. It was most impressive, given that if I'd let go of his shoulders he'd have gone over backwards...

      Actually there's another problem. In order to be able to put contact lenses in, you need to be able to see well enough to get them into the right place, and you need to be able to see well enough to grab them and take them out again - although at least in the second case you're wearing your corrective contacts lenses at the time.

      1. Ed_UK

        Re: Holy s**t

        "He couldn't stand up without support, and yet, with me holding him up was able to take out his contact lenses perfectly"

        Top tip: When you come home knackered, or drunk, or both, before taking your contacts out, MAKE SURE YOU'RE WEARING THEM. Otherwise, it hurts.

        Don't ask me how I know this.

        1. Triggerfish

          Re: Holy s**t

          @ I aint spartacus.

          Its a practice, could remove contacts lenses after nights out clubbing getting seriously twisted, it becomes automatic. Likewise putting them in I once you do it a few times you learn the muscle memory you don't need a mirror.

          Hell i once removed the contact lenses with no bother and I was wrecked enough that I was laying in bed thinking I was going to get lucky with the missus, before I realised I had been stroking my own leg for 5 minutes.

          @Ed yep done that. :)

        2. Vic

          Re: Holy s**t

          > Top tip: When you come home knackered, or drunk

          Here's an even better one: buy lenses you don't need to take out when drunk.

          I've been using continuous-wear lenses for ~10 years now, and they are *fabulous*.

          Vic.

  9. JCitizen
    Boffin

    Wow!

    This blows the news I heard the other day about surgically implanted telescopes, completely away! If I had my druthers, and I had macular degeneration, I'd wan't the contact lens/LCD glasses solution!!! What is not mentioned in this article is the wondrous way the brain can tell that the center view image put in the wrong place on what's left of the usable retina, is counter acted by the brain. The amazing brain knows the view is center field an puts it in center view as realized by the patient. I hear this takes a while, but is pretty mind blowing stuff! This is how I understand it - hopefully someone who knows more can correct any mistakes I've made. I would suppose that the missing information shows up somewhere else in the field of vision. To bad it can't be transported to the natural blind spot where the blood vessels enter the retina.

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