SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) - Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration cleared the first contact lens to incorporate an additive that automatically darkens the lens when exposed to bright light.
The Acuvue Oasys Contact Lenses with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology (by Johnson & Johnson) would act like contact lenses currently available, but the new technology would allow them to darken in bright sunlight and automatically turn to a regular tint when exposed to normal or dark lighting conditions.
"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, said in a statement.
The FDA reviewed scientific evidence including a clinical study of 24 patients that evaluated daytime and nighttime driving performance while wearing the contact lenses. The results of the study demonstrated there was no evidence of concerns with either driving performance or vision while wearing the lenses.
The new contact lenses would only be intended to be worn for up to 14 days, and should not be used as substitutes for UV protective eyewear.
Johnson & Johnson said it excepts the contact lenses to be available in 2019.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that as of 2014, more than 40 million Americans were contact lens wearers.