Zooming contact lenses being developed

Lenses that enable the wearer to switch between normal and magnified vision have been demonstrated at the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in San Jose, California.

It’s hoped that these new sturdy lenses could help sufferers of macular degeneration, a debilitating condition that causes people to gradually lose their central vision.  Macular degeneration is currently the leading cause of visual impairment in the UK and affects millions of people worldwide.

The new rigid contact lenses – which were developed at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne – cover the whites of the eyes, making them larger than standard lenses.  Contained within the lens are tiny aluminium mirrors arranged within a central ring.  When light streams through them, the mirrors bounce it around a number of times, causing objects to appear larger.

To toggle between normal views and the magnified image, users will need to wear the lenses with a pair of electronic glasses.  A wink with one eye will switch the glasses to a polarised filter, and winking with the opposite eye will switch the setting back to normal.

A previous version of the lenses didn’t allow the user toggle the zoom; this early version has been built upon, with a new improved design that better enables oxygen to reach the eye. 

Now the airflow around the lenses has improved, the team are continuing trials.

The smart contact lenses could potentially lead to users being able to keep tabs on medical problems.  Scientists at the University of California are currently working on lenses with minute pressure sensors that will enable them to track glaucoma. 

Current treatment options for macular degeneration are simply surgery or wearing visual aids that resemble opera glasses (these are known as bioptic telescopes).

To view our full range of prescription lenses, click here.


Google granted patent for diabetes smart contact lens

Search engine giant Google has finally been granted a Patent by the US Patent & Trademark Office for a ‘smart contact lens having an uneven embedded substrate and method of manufacture’.

Many observers believe that the ‘uneven surface’ mentioned in the patent could be a device capable of monitoring the blood sugar levels of the wearer.

Last year, Google teamed up with European drug manufacturer Novartis to help develop a smart contact lens prototype with miniature sensors and a radio antenna; the aim being to create a lens that could track glucose levels and then upload the data to both patients and physicians.

As part of the working relationship, it is expected that Novartis’ own Alcon eye care unit would also continue to develop and commercialise the contact lens technology.

Google believes that a contact lens could be a much less invasive treatment for diabetic patients, who currently have to prick their fingers in order to measure glucose levels.

The patent was first applied for in September 2012.

A Google spokesperson said:

“We hold patents on a variety of ideas—some of those ideas later mature into real products or services, some don’t. Prospective product announcements should not necessarily be inferred from our patents,”

To view our range of prescription lenses, head to the Eyesbright main catalogue here.


Astigmatism and contact lenses

A relatively common eye condition, astigmatism can be treated using specific lenses.  Though the name might sound severe, astigmatism is still fairly minor.  However, if you’re unsure about what it is, this guide should help.

What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism occurs when the cornea or lens isn’t a perfectly curved shape, and leads to both blurred and distorted vision  (It’s quite common in people who wear glasses).   It typically occurs alongside other ‘refractive errors’ such as:

Short-sightedness (known as myopia) and Long-sightedness (hypermetropia).

Is it dangerous?

Astigmatism isn’t a lethal condition, but if it isn’t treated it can cause discomfort for the sufferer through headaches, eye strain and fatigue, particularly after working on tasks such as reading or using a computer for long periods of time.

What causes astigmatism?

Astigmatism is the result of an irregular-shaped cornea (the transparent layer of tissue on the front of the eye).  In normal cases, the cornea is spherical – a bit like the surface of a football – but astigmatism causes an irregular curve (more like a rugby ball).

The result of this is that light rays entering the eye aren’t focused perfectly, resulting in a blurred image.

Typically, astigmatism is present at birth.  On some occasions, though, it can develop after an eye injury or as a result of complication during eye surgery.  It can also be the result of keratoconus and keratoglobus, eye conditions that can distort the cornea, causing it to bulge.

Types of astigmatism

There are two main types of astigmatism – regular and irregular:

  • Regular astigmatism is where the cornea curves more towards one direction than the other – this condition can usually be corrected using glasses or contact lenses.
  • Irregular astigmatism is where the curvature of the cornea isn’t even across the eye; usually meaning the curve is in a single direction.  Irregular astigmatism is typically more common when eye injuries occur and the cornea is scarred.  This can also be corrected with contact lenses but not with glasses.

Get it checked

It’s important to get your eyes checked regularly in order to have astigmatism diagnosed – on some occasions it can go undiagnosed for years, resulting in a greatly reduced ability to read and concentrate.

How to treat astigmatism

Often, astigmatism symptoms are so mild that they don’t even need to be treated, but if they do require treatment, there are a few different options:

Corrective lenses

These corrective lenses compensate for the irregular shape of the cornea so that any incoming light passing through the lens is properly focused onto the retina (the light sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye).

There are a number of effective models for sale via Eyesbright’s prescription contact lens partner, and you can find them here.

Laser eye surgery is another option, but it’s usually considered somewhat drastic for what’s still a relatively mild condition. Note: Eye surgery is not available on the NHS.




The very best cheap coloured contact lenses

Whilst we stock a wide range of products at Eyesbright, we know that for many people, it’s important to budget.  Because of this, we’ve put together this handy guide on some of the best value lenses in our current catalogue.  Some are permanently available at great prices, others are currently on sale – so grab a pair before we run out of them!

Pictures and Patterns

Black Cross  

These are pretty unique, and if you love to rock the gothic look it’s hard not to recommend them.  The Black Cross lenses are about as heavy metal as it’s possible for lenses to be, and will seriously look the part in any dark ensemble.  All hail!


If you dig the vampire-slaying, Wesley Snipes portrayed bad-ass, we’d definitely recommend these lenses.  A combination of razor sharped black shapes on a pure white-background, they’re definitely ideal for catching the eye of a vamp or two whilst out on the town.  Swords not included.

Natural colours

Beautiful blues

Natural whilst still being eye-catching, these stylish blues are ideal if you want to emphasise the lightness of your own eyes.  They won’t go over really dark eyes, but if you’ve got naturally lighter ones and want to transform them, the blues are perfect.

Grey Lenses

Planning to take your darker eyes and give them a little more spark?  These grey lenses are built to look the part in any situation, from an awesome club night to a Halloween party.  They’re also just as effective with light eyes!

Block colours

Black Out

Available at a great price of £10.99, these Black Out lenses are ideal for those situations where looking anything but human will do!  Whether you’re rocking a Halloween ghost costume or are trying to nail the look from your favourite cosplay character, give the Black Outs a go.

White Out

Do you really want to grab the attention of everyone in the room?  The chances are you’ll be able to do so very quickly with these White Out lenses: whatever costume you’re trying on - hell, even if you don’t have a costume! – these lenses will really put all eyes on you.

At the Movies

Hellraiser – Pinhead

He’s got a face full of steel, and a whole lot of personal issues.  He’s Pinhead, and he’s here for the misery.  If you’ve got a costume all ready to go and want the ideal final touch at a great price, we’d definitely recommend these Pinhead lenses.

Twilight: the Wolfpack

In the mood for a full moon and a lot of hairy, hungry sort-of-people? Then you’ll definitely want to give these Wolf Pack lenses a go.  If you’re a huge Twilight fan and want to try something different from the typical Edward Cullen costume, give these Wolfy ones a go!



Game of Thrones Survey: Brace yourself; Rumours are coming *MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS!

With the news that the latest series of Game of Thrones will start on 14th April (12th for U.S), rumours are already flying all over the web. What’s more, the great man himself has said that the series will differ from the books.

Or, in his own words:

‘Everybody better be on their toes. [Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss] are even bloodier than I am.’

What does this mean for lovers of the series?  It means that HAVE MERCY WHY ISN’T IT THE 12TH OF APRIL ALREADY I CAN’T WAIT…erm, sorry; too much coffee.

So what’s really going to happen? Well, we don’t know.  However, we’ve had a look at some of the theories doing the rounds, and these are definitely our favourites…

(None are confirmed, but some come from the books.  As a result, consider these potential SPOILERS!):

Sansa gets hitched

Possibly the most disturbing theory is that newly-goth Sansa will end up marrying Ramsay Bolton.  Yes, the one that chopped off Theon’s manhood before eating a sausage in front of him.  Because, y’know, being around Littlefinger just isn’t creepy enough.

Jamie and Cersei aren’t Lannisters

Yes, fans are starting to question the birth of the gorgeous twosome, following hints that the Mad King took some liberties with Tywin’s wife. (You’d have to be mad to try that). Targaryens have always been a fan of the whole incest thing, so this would sort of make sense. In a horrible, horrible way.

(Of course, there’s always the possibility that Tyrion is the non-Lannister, which would explain why Tywin was always such an arse to the poor guy.  Until Tyrion straight up murdered him, right in the toilet).

The Mountain returns

Even in the book this isn’t confirmed, but there are rumours that everyone’s favourite eye-gouging, skull-crushing loony will return with a new suit of armour, a new name and presumably the same anger issues. Can someone please, please just kill him properly?

Varys is a merman

Just YES.  There has been the odd rumour in the books that ‘merlings’ do exist, and Varys definitely looks a bit reptilian. This theory seems almost entirely based on Varys’ reply when Tyrion threatened to throw him in the sea: ‘You might be disappointed in the results’.  First person to make a compilation video and set it to ‘Part of that world’ from The Little Mermaid wins the internet.

Jon Snow ain’t a Stark – well, not Ned’s anyway

The standout rumour regarding the dishy wall guardian is definitely that Snow isn’t actually Ned Stark’s bastard child, but instead the child of Prince Rhaegar Targaryan and Lyanna Stark.  As well as making dear old no-head Ned seem like less of a cheating swine, this would give Jon a solid claim to the Iron Throne.

What do you think will happen?

In tribute to what’s definitely the most addictive show in the world (especially since Walter White’s last hoorah), we’ve put together this survey on just what the real GoT fans think is going to happen to the parade of characters who’ll no doubt find themselves in peril over the next ten weeks.  We’d love to have your expertise on some of the following questions:

Who's going to snuff it?

Who'll reign on the Iron Throne at the end (if anyone)?

Who's your favourite character (well, favourite still alive character?)

As well as a number of others.  To take part, visit the survey here:

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