Johnson & Johnson rolls out its light-adaptive contact lenses with Transitions tech

close-up of child's green eye
The lenses were named one of Time magazine’s best inventions of 2018, for shrinking down the rigid Transitions eyeglasses into a soft contact lens. (Rudy and Peter Skitterians)

Johnson & Johnson Vision has begun the U.S. launch of its adaptive contact lenses that darken to match changing light levels, employing the same technology seen in Transitions eyeglass lenses.

The two-week, daily-wear Acuvue Oasys lenses contain an additive that reacts to different levels of ultraviolet light exposure, which returns the lens to a regular tint in normal or dark lighting conditions within 90 seconds. They are set to be commercially available starting April 1.

J&J says the photochromic lenses can help the eyes recover faster from bright sunlight with less squinting, while reducing the halos and starbursts that can appear around bright light sources at night. However, they’re not yet a replacement for sunglasses or UV-protecting eyewear.

The FDA first cleared the lenses last April, based in part on a clinical study of 24 patients that evaluated their ability to drive a car during nighttime and daytime. The results showed no evidence of concerns with either driving performance or vision while wearing the lenses, the agency said.

RELATED: J&J’s antihistamine-eluting contact lenses clear phase 3 allergy studies

The lenses were named one of Time magazine’s best inventions of 2018 for overcoming the technology hurdles that came with shrinking down rigid Transitions eyeglasses into a soft contact lens, the result of over a decade of development.

Additionally—in one of the less conspicuous sponsorship deals—J&J has tapped pro baseball outfielder Bryce Harper as a brand ambassador, who will wear the contact lenses on the field during his 2019 season.

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