These Light-Adaptive Contacts Might One Day Replace Sunglasses Forever

Photo Credits: sanneberg/ Shutterstock | Model Used for Illustrative Purpose Only

Forget sunglasses, there’s now a contact lens that adapts to light, making those too-bright lights much more bearable without eyewear.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just cleared the Acuvue Oasys Contact Lenses with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology, a soft lens that contains a photochomatic additive that automatically darkens when exposed to bright sunlight. So, not only do these lenses correct poor eyesight, but they also make experiencing high levels of sunlight bearable without sunglasses.

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"This contact lens is the first of its kind to incorporate the same technology that is used in eyeglasses that automatically darken in the sun," said Malvina Eydelman, director of the Division of Ophthalmic, and Ear, Nose and Throat Devices at the FDA's Center For Devices and Radiological Health.

The FDA reached it’s decision of clearance after reviewing scientific evidence including a clinical study of 24 patients that assessed daytime versus nighttime driving performance while wearing the contact lenses. Luckily, the study revealed that the lenses had no concerning impact on either driving performance or vision.

Unfortunately, these lenses aren’t meant for everyone—only non-diseased eyes with far- or near-sightedness can use them, along with people with certain degrees of astigmatism. Additionally, the FDA cautions that these contact lenses shouldn’t be used as substitutes for UV protective eyewear, so don’t toss your sunglasses just yet.