Smart Contact Lenses Can Help Monitor Glucose for Diabetics

The daily struggle with diabetes is a huge problem in America, affecting about 26 million children and adults, and sadly many of those with the disease fail to treat themselves to the modern-day medicine on hand. One of the struggles these people are faced with is the constant watch of blood sugar levels. Uncontrolled blood sugar puts many at risk for a variety of complications, including vision damage. Google recently announced its development of a new and improved way of monitoring glucose levels for diabetics with contact lenses.


The contact lenses are in discussions with the FDA for testing and approval on a larger scale, but the prototype uses processing chips and a glucose sensor to monitor the user’s tears. The sensor detects glucose levels, taking in readings once per second, and the antenna transmits its findings to an external device. Though researchers are developing a concept of integrating tiny LED lights to light up on the contact lenses to signal the user when glucose levels are above or below normal.


According to the International Diabetes Federation, more than 1 in 20 people have diabetes today and is expected to rise to 1 in 10 by the year 2035. For most people, this leaves them to test their glucose levels with time-consuming and painful fingertip pricking to draw blood. Since the process is painful, many diabetics go without regular testing, allowing blood sugar levels to rise or fall to extremes. Thus putting diabetics at risk of kidney failure, blindness and premature death. The overall goal of the contact lenses is to provide a simpler solution to managing glucose for diabetics.


Currently there are a variety of sensors available for diabetics through costly bionic implants, but they are difficult to remove. Google’s new contact lenses are painless and easily removable, which could change everything for a diabetic.


Since there is not a cure for diabetes, millions are at risk of vision loss depending on their way of life. Patients with diabetes are likely accustomed to insulin injections and strict dieting, but many fail to have regular eye exams to prevent vision loss. One study from Diabetic Connect, the largest social networking site for diabetes sufferers, revealed that 25 percent of people with diabetes fail to have their recommended annual dilated eye exam.

Diabetic eye disease lacks any symptoms, meaning people who are unaware of damaged vision experience enough damage that stems in vision loss. However, scheduling a regular eye exam with your doctor can help reduce the risk of vision loss or blindness associated with diabetes. If you have experienced vision loss and in need of treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Caster for laser vision correction. Google may be in the works to help manage glucose for diabetics, but until the contact lenses have been cleared by the FDA, you can turn to Dr. Caster and his staff to help prevent or restore vision loss.