29 September 2021

What’s trending in vision sciences?

Contact lens technologies that can treat disease, and a possible link between caffeine intake and IOP.

Our Library and Information Services Manager, Shirley Hart, has scoured our ever-growing collection of journals to bring to you the articles that are getting the profession talking. This week’s edition features a review of the most promising future contact lens technologies, and a study by Jihye Kim et al, that looks at the effect and impact of habitual caffeine intake on intraocular pressure and glaucoma. 

CLEAR - Contact lens technologies of the future

Seen in: Contact Lens and Anterior Eye

This review demonstrates the incredible diversity of new technologies under development that will shape the future of contact lenses. The rapid growth in novel biomaterials will enable the commercialisation of lenses that can both detect and treat ocular and, in some cases, systemic disease. Novel optical designs will help manage common ocular conditions such as myopia and presbyopia, in addition to providing enhanced vision for patients with low vision and corneal conditions such as keratoconus. Improvements in biosensing and antibacterial surfaces will produce safer contact lens cases and materials, reducing the number of patients who develop sight-threatening microbial keratitis and infiltrative responses. Contact lenses have been around for over 100 years and their future remains bright, with many exciting developments under consideration.

Read the full review  

Intraocular pressure, glaucoma, and dietary caffeine consumption: a gene-diet interaction study from the UK Biobank 

Seen in: Ophthalmology

This study examined the association of habitual caffeine intake with intraocular pressure (IOP) and glaucoma and whether genetic predisposition to higher IOP modified these associations, and additionally whether genetic predisposition to higher coffee consumption was related to IOP. The findings suggest that a large panel of IOP genetic biomarkers could modify the relationship between caffeine dietary intake and the risk of glaucoma. Among people with a genetic predisposition towards high IOP, greater caffeine consumption was linked to a higher IOP and higher glaucoma prevalence. While more research is needed to confirm these gene-diet interactions and to determine whether specific genetic markers are modifying the propensity to higher IOP and glaucoma, the data suggests that approaches to precision nutrition that incorporate genomic data may be needed to make recommendations regarding caffeine consumption and glaucoma risk. 

Read the full study 

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Related further reading

Here we summarise three research papers from a recent issue of Optometry in Practice.

This article describes an audit to evaluate how the COVID-19 pandemic affected hospital contact lens services.

As our Editor in Chief steps into a new role, we look at how hospital clinics and practices coped with the pressures of the pandemic, and how we can provide services tailored to patients' needs.