Spring is the season of allergy outbreaks. Luckily, today there are many medications that can, if not completely defeat, significantly reduce your symptoms. Effectively, antihistamines, such as ketotifen, relieve many people with "springy" allergy to itchy and watery eyes. To do this, it is available in the form of eye drops – however, doctors Johnson & Johnson Vision Care developed a new method of delivering such drugs: using contact lenses. Brian Pall and his colleagues talk about it in an article published in Cornea.
Contact lenses impregnated with ketotifen were tested on volunteers. In total, 244 people were selected for this, using lenses and suffering from allergy to pollen, cat hair, etc. At random, they were divided into three groups: participants from the first contact lenses received with ketotifen, participants from the second lenses with placebo and third, the test lens in one eye and placebo in the other.
Immediately after 15 minutes of use, they were exposed to allergens and asked to assess eye irritation on a scale of zero to four. The new lenses were effective: people who used them gave an average of 0.52, while those who received placebo – 1.77. After repeating the effects of the allergen 12 hours later, the scientists received similar numbers: 0.77 and 1.89, respectively.
Unsurprisingly, "allergy" contact lenses are on sale. First, they will not help prevent other symptoms of the disease, such as coughing and heavy breathing, requiring the simultaneous use of conventional drugs. Secondly, they are disposable and much more expensive than conventional lenses. However, Johnson & Johnson are considering new technology from all sides. It can be used in other areas of medicine that require a stable and accurate delivery of drugs directly into the eye.