Goodbye presbyopia, hello ‘super vision’

Pixel Optics (Roanoke, VA) is in the final stages of developing electroactive lenses to correct presbyopia, a common aging problem in which the eye loses its accommodative ability to focus on near objects.

Apr 1st, 2006

Pixel Optics (Roanoke, VA) is in the final stages of developing electroactive lenses to correct presbyopia, a common aging problem in which the eye loses its accommodative ability to focus on near objects. Although presbyopia can be corrected with bifocals, the lens area is inconveniently split into near- and far-focusing regions. Electroactive lenses work by incorporating liquid-crystal material in the center of the lens. An array of voltages applied to multiple transparent electrodes that sandwich this material layer alter the orientation of the crystals and the local index of refraction, compensating for the loss of focusing power that occurs in the eye. For distance seeing, the electricity is simply turned off.

Pixel Optics received a $3.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to develop optics that provide better than 20/20 vision. While some individuals have near-perfect vision that is free of higher-order aberrations of the eye, most people are saddled with these aberrations. By measuring the aberrations with a wavefront sensor and then correcting them with an electroactive lens, Pixel Optics plans to develop “super vision” over the next several years. Contact Dwight Duston at dduston@pixeloptics.com.

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