Stanford University, California, United States. The university is conducting research that would lead to more comfortable contact lenses, or so the researchers claim. This would come as welcoming news to people who genuinely struggle to either get the contact lenses in to start with or the ones who can't wear them for long.
Why on earth did this research suddenly pop up at Stanford University?
The culprit was a graduate student named Saad Bhamla. He said: "As a student, I had to stop wearing lenses due to the increased discomfort." Turns out, his eyes would dry up during the day leaving him with discomfort. He conducted the research in Gerald Fuller's chemical engineering laboratory, according to Stanford University's website. "Focusing my PhD thesis to understand this problem was both a personal and professional goal." How about that for writing about what you know?
In the States, it is claimed that 30 million people are wearing contact lenses and around half of them go back to their glasses because of levels of discomfort. So the idea was spawned to create a film that would work with a contact lens and make wearing them more comfortable. They did this by researching the lipid layer - the oily coating on the tear film - that protects the eye by retaining liquid and being strong enough to keep things out.
The researchers say the lipid layer of the eye also stops the tear film from evaporating due to the temperature human eyes achieve (95 degrees Fahrenheit). Sounds like a really important layer to have, right?
The researchers say that the answer to making comfortable contact lenses is engineering the lenses that don't interfere with the lipid layer and the job it is doing for the eye.
Bhamla along with the assistance of Gerald Fuller built a device called the Interfacial Dewetting and Drainage Optical Platform (i-DDrOP). This device will enable engineers to monitor and influence the tear film and perform different tasks upon it. This will - according to the researchers - lead to more comfortable contact lenses in the long run.
You can thank them later. First stop your dry, red eyes from occurring.