You’re probably familiar with all sorts of mythologies promoted as “truisms” in modern medicine: Flu vaccines prevent the flu (they actually don’t), CT scans are harmless (they aren’t), chemotherapy works to save lives from cancer (it actually causes cancer), and so on. There are all sorts of falsehoods in dentistry, too: Mercury fillings are safe for you! (They aren’t.) Gum health Continue reading
Planarian flatworms have come under intense study for their renowned ability to regenerate any missing body part, even as adults. But now they may take on a starring role as a model system for studying eye development and eye diseases in vertebrates, including humans.
This expansion of the planarian job description comes Continue reading
“This is a very important finding,” says Sanjay Sharma (Ophthalmology and Epidemiology), Continue reading
Image: After gene therapy for congenital blindness, areas in the part of the brain responsible for vision show a response after a visual stimulus
In 3 adults, repeat dose safely improves vision
Gene therapy for congenital blindness has taken another step forward, as researchers further improved vision in three adult patients previously treated in one eye. After receiving the same treatment in their other eye, the patients became better able to see in dim light, and two were able to navigate obstacles in low-light situations. No adverse effects occurred. Continue reading
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the most frequent cause of blindness in the Western World. A report from the University of Copenhagen and Glostrup Hospital in Denmark published today shows the number of new cases of blindness and severe visual loss in Denmark has been halved during the last ten years.
The study just published in American Journal of Ophthalmology examined the records of 11,848 new cases of legal blindness. The rate of blindness from AMD fell from 522 cases per million inhabitants aged 50 years or older in 2000, Continue reading
LONDON – Conventionally, laser surgery tackles shortsightedness, but doctors are now using laser treatment to restore 20/20 vision in those suffering from long-sightedness too.
By the age of 50, most adults find they can’t read a menu, book or newspaper without holding it at arm’s length.
The deterioration results from the stiffening of the eye’s lens, which makes zooming in on close objects more difficult.
The latest research, from three laboratories in Europe and the U.S., could lead to new techniques to cure the problem.
The technique, which could cost around 4,000 pounds, involves using lasers to re-engineer the eyeball, either by cutting slits, into which tiny lenses can be inserted, or by altering the shape of its outer layer.
In one study the researchers used lasers to make tiny slits in the cornea, the transparent outermost layer of the eye, which, along with the lens, is key to focusing.
They then inserted a corneal inlay – a tiny doughnut-shaped black ring with a pin-sized hole at the centre for the light to pass through. This made it easier for light to focus on the retina at the back of the eye, making close vision sharper.
In another study, Greek researchers cut tiny pockets in the corneas of 15 patients and inserted powerful magnifying lenses.
“Ninety eight per cent of patients were satisfied with their vision; 69 per cent reported “excellent” and 30 per cent “good” near vision,” The Daily Mail quoted Dr Ioannis Pallikaris as saying.
Dr Mike Holzer, of the University of Heidelberg added. “The procedure is painless and because no tissue is removed the risk of infection is extremely low.”
David Allamby, one of the few British eye doctors already using lasers to correct presbyopia, welcomed the results, but warned none of the techniques is perfect.
Bilberry fruit is a close relative to the American blueberry. It’s a common ingredient in pies, cakes and jams. The active constituents are thought to be antioxidants called anthocyanins.
Why Do People Use Bilberry
Bilberry is primarily used for eye conditions and to strengthen blood vessels. During World War II, British Royal Air Force pilots reportedly found that eating bilberry jam just before a mission improved their night vision which prompted researchers to investigate bilberry’s properties.
Bilberry is also used for glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and cataracts.
The anthocyanins in bilberry may strengthen the walls of blood vessels, reduce inflammation and stabilize tissues containing collagen, such as cartilage, tendons and ligaments. Grape seed contains similar substances, however, bilberry’s anthocyanins are thought to have particular benefits for the eye.
Because bilberry is thought to strengthen blood vessels, it’s sometimes taken orally for varicose veins and hemorrhoids.