Johnson and Johnson Vision Care (J&JVC) has launched a two-week reusable photochromic contact lens (CL). Acuvue Oasys With Transitions Light Intelligent Technology CLs change from clear to dark in less than a minute and fade back to clear in about 90 seconds when the wearer is no longer in bright light.
To produce the CLs, J&JVC incorporated customised photochromic molecules inside senofilcon A, a material already used in Acuvue Oasys lenses.
“Trillions of photochromic molecules are spread throughout each lens,” explained Zohra Fadli, Director of Sphere-Light Management, Lens Care and Global Platform Lead, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc., who oversaw the project for more than a decade. “These molecules are highly responsive to both UV light and certain kinds of bright light, so when they’re exposed to either, a chemical reaction occurs that makes them change structure and darken.”
At full activation, the lenses can block up to 70% of visible light, making them strong enough to effectively block out light and UV rays, while also minimising cosmetic changes.
Importantly, the CLs are not a replacement for sunglasses. While they do provide UV protection to the areas they cover, other parts of the eye and surrounding skin are still exposed to UV light.
Johnson & Johnson Vision Care worked with Transitions Optical to develop the Acuvue Oasys with Transitions Light Intelligent Technology, which was named by Time Magazine as one of the 50 best inventions of 2018.