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Contact Lenses With Vitamin E, For Glaucoma

By Devaki

The common eye disease, glaucoma can be treated with the help of contact lenses containing vitamin E, says the scientists. They say that this method can be almost 100 times more effective than the current commercial lenses.

This can offer more medication for glaucoma and perhaps other diseases to the eye like cataract, dry eye etc. Glaucoma is second only to cataracts as the leading cause of vision loss and blindness, in the world. Eye drops that relieve the abnormal build-up of pressure inside the eye that occurs in glaucoma, are the mainstay treatment. But with in about two to five minutes of putting drops in the eye, the tears carry the drug away, which decrease the desired results.

Much of the medicine gets absorbed in to the bloodstream, which carries it throughout the body where it could cause side effects. Only about one to five percent of drug in the eye drops reach the cornea of the eye.

Scientists have developed a new extended-release delivery approach, by incorporating vitamin E into contact lenses. The invisible clusters or aggregates, of vitamin E molecules form transport barriers, which slow down the elision of the glaucoma medication from the lens into the eye. The drug molecules cannot go through the Vitamin E. They have to go around it, as the vitamin structures are much bigger than the drug molecules. This will help to increase the duration of the drug release from the lenses and the drug released from the lens into the eye stays in the tears far longer than the 2-5 minutes with eye drops, leading to more effective therapy.

These lenses with Vitamin E, can be designed for continuous wear for up to a month.

Story first published: Friday, March 26, 2010, 13:59 [IST]