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'Smart' contact lens may help fight glaucoma

July 22, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Eye doctors may soon have a new tool to fight glaucoma as researchers test what they call a 'smart' contact lens.

The special contact lens called Triggerfish is fitted with a micro-chip and micro-processor.

Here's how it works: The patient puts in the contact lens and then inserts a patch, which has a special antenna inside.

The antenna transmits data to a recorder which is then uploaded to a computer.

Doctors are then able to monitor certain measurements and internal eye pressure, which is a key risk factor for glaucoma.

Patients say the device is amazing, but looks sort of silly.

"I look like a character out of Star Trek. And everyone that looked at it would see it and go ... I could tell they wanted to ask me about it but didn't," said clinical trial patient James Guerra.

Triggerfish is part of a clinical trial. Doctors hope it will be a key tool in fighting glaucoma, which affects 70 million people around the world.

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