Presbyopia is an age-related disorder where the lens of the eye hardens so that focusing on near objects becomes increasingly difficult. This complaint affects everyone over the age of 50. It is becoming progressively more relevant, as the average age of the global population continues to rise. Bifocal or varifocal spectacles are currently the best solution for those that require near and far vision correction. However, many people prefer not to wear spectacles and while multifocal contact lenses are available, they are not widely prescribed and can require significant adaptation by wearers. One possible solution is to use liquid crystal contact lenses that can change focal power by applying a small electric field across the device. However, the design of these contact lenses must be carefully considered as they must be comfortable for the user to wear and able to provide the required change in focal power (usually about +2D). Progress towards different lens designs, which includes lens geometry, liquid crystal choices and suitable alignment modes, are reviewed. Furthermore, we also discuss suitable electrode materials, possible power sources and suggest some methods for switching the lenses between near and far vision correction.
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