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02.03.2015 13:26

First Contact Lens to Prevent Macular Degeneration Developed in PTS

Contact lens company Servilens Fit & Cover, based in the Granada Health Science Technological Park (PTS), has developed the world's first contact lens to prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The new lens provides better vision correction and absorbs 5% of the blue light that can cause retinal damage.


Presentation of the Lens55 contact lens at the PTS

Lens55 UV CSR is the result of 15 years of research coordinated by Madrid Complutense University (UCM) and involving public and private institutions both in Spain and abroad, according to Celia Sánchez-Ramos Roda, Doctor of Vision Sciences and lecturer in Optics at UCM. Dr Sánchez-Ramos spoke at an event held at the PTS Foundation to explain the development of the new medical product. Other attendees included the director of Servilens, Javier Bello, the president of the College of Opticians and Optometrists of Andalusia, Blanca Fernández, and the managing director of the PTS, Jesús Quero.

The research found that by absorbing the band of light that the eye sees as violet, very close to ultraviolet, light damage to the neurons at the back of the eye could be reduced. The Lens55 contact lens is designed particularly for eyes exposed to sources of blue light, such as sunlight, or artificial light from LEDs, such as computer, tablet or smartphone screens. The lenses should only be used in healthy eyes and always under specialist supervision.

During the event at the PTS, Dr Sánchez-Ramos explained that AMD is an eye disease that causes a loss of central vision, leaving only the peripheral vision intact. AMD is the main cause of preventable binocular blindness in the developed world, and is largely caused by visible light (blue-violet).

According to Dr Sánchez-Ramos, the incidence of AMD is higher in women than in men, possibly because of their longer life expectancy, but what she finds most alarming is the increase in the number of people affected over the last few years and the high numbers predicted to be affected over the course of the 21st century.

In Dr Sánchez-Ramos' words, "Lens55 is a lens with a yellow optical filter that reduces the effects of harmful light and prevents macular degeneration, so it's the best strategy for preventing an increase in cases of blindness."