First Auto-Darken Contact Lenses Approved

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first contact lenses that automatically darken in bright light, the agency said Tuesday in a news release.

The technology, used for years in eyeglasses, stems from an additive that's added to the lenses, which then react to the sun's ultraviolet rays. The Acuvue Oasys lenses return to their normal tint when the user moves to normal or darker lighting.

As of 2014, more than 40 million people in the United States wore contact lenses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates.

In approving the auto-tint lenses, the FDA reviewed a clinical study involving 24 people, including daytime and nighttime driving performance. The study demonstrated no concerns with either driving or vision, the agency said.

People with an eye infection, eye disease, severe dry eye, injury or cornea abnormality shouldn't use the product, the FDA said.

Users shouldn't sleep with the lenses, use the same pair for more than 14 days or substitute the lenses for UV-protective eyewear, the agency added.

The lenses are produced by Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, based in Jacksonville, Fla.

More information

Visit the FDA to learn more about this approval.


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