The Emergence of The Bionic Eye

The Emergence of The Bionic Eye

It is estimated that around 36 million people are legally blind, and an additional 217 million have moderate or severe impairment to their vision. Though it’s believed that a significant amount of impairment can be prevented, there is no known cure for blindness; bionic eyes may provide a means of redefining what it means to see. Prosthetic eyes, often known as “glass” or “artificial” eyes, only replace the eye physically to mimic the appearance of the removed part, whereas bionic eyes grant the wearer the ability to perceive their world without replacing the existing physical structure. There are, of course, significant limitations to the capabilities of such technology, but the bionic eye is a great step towards restoring sight in those who experience some form of low vision or blindness. Existing Developments So far, only one model of bionic eye, the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System created by California-based company Second Sight, has been approved by the American Food and Drug Association (FDA). This bionic eye cannot help everyone, however. The effectiveness of the apparatus is dependent on the cause of blindness. The bionic eye has been designed mostly for treating Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP), a fairly rare group of genetic disorders that leads to the deterioration of cells in the retina but leaves the connected nerves intact. Work is being done to treat more common causes of blindness, like degenerative conditions, but current technology limits what is possible. The bionic eye is not designed to cure blindness; rather, it provides a means for those affected by severely impaired vision to navigate the world through recognizable light patterns that depict...
Things To Consider Before Getting Laser Eye Surgery

Things To Consider Before Getting Laser Eye Surgery

If your vision is impaired and you must wear corrective lenses or contacts, you may have considered laser eye surgery as an alternative. As of mid-2016, LASIK, the most common form of laser eye surgery, had a patient satisfaction rate of 96%, and 99% percent of patients were left with 20/40 vision or better. However, laser eye surgery is not meant for everyone, and there are bound to be a number of misconceptions regarding the process. Before deciding on the surgery, there are a few things you need to consider. Preparation Prior to getting the surgery, you must adhere to the doctor’s instructions in order to avoid complications. You will not be permitted to wear contacts for a few weeks leading up to the surgery. Contacts change the shape of the cornea, and it’s important that the eye has returned to its natural shape by the time you arrive. You are able to wear glasses in that interim, so this is usually not an issue, but understanding this requirement is important before you make your decision. You should also avoid wearing makeup and facial lotions for around a week before the surgery in order to reduce the risk of infection following the procedure. Costs Many insurances don’t cover LASIK because it is deemed elective and cosmetic. Some offices have payment plans that are adaptable, but you should consider your financial situation and willingness to pay out of pocket for the procedure. Additionally, you will be required to purchase things like eye drops to use both before and after your procedure. These are often not included in the price of...
Alzheimer’s and Vision Loss

Alzheimer’s and Vision Loss

A recent study suggests that there may be a link between degenerative eye diseases and detection of Alzheimer’s in patients. Degenerative eye diseases and Alzheimer’s are not directly related but this experiment gives insight into identifying cognitive diseases before they come to fruition. The University of Washington School of Medicine, The UW School of Nursing, and the Kaiser Permanente Washington Health Institute reported results on an experiment that has been conducted for over five years. The experiment included about four thousand individuals all over the age of 65 who had no known signs of Alzheimer’s disease. Over five years of observation, almost eight hundred individuals were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. The experiment concluded that individuals with degenerative eye diseases were forty to fifty percent more likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than patients with no known prior eye diseases. “The main message from this study is that ophthalmologists should be more aware of the risks of developing dementia for people with these eye conditions and primary care doctors seeing patients with these eye conditions might be more careful on checking on possible dementia or memory loss.” – Dr. Cecilia Lee, lead researcher. Alzheimer’s disease is on the rise across the US and doctors are finding ways to potentially catch the onset of the disease before official diagnosis to be proactive with treatment plans. This is one experiment, of many others that have been conducted in previous years, that is adding to the piling evidence that diseases of the eye could be a potential precursor to degenerative diseases occurring in the brain. A main factor in the experiment was observing the...
Foods to Help Maintain Eye Health

Foods to Help Maintain Eye Health

Maintaining a healthy diet is, unsurprisingly, and important habit that individuals of all ages should embrace. A lesser known diet that often falls by the wayside is one that directly addresses eye health. For those who may be unfamiliar with which foods exactly benefit the human eye, this list can be extremely helpful. Red Peppers Raw red peppers contain the most vitamin C per calorie than any other vegetable, which helps blood vessels in the eye, in addition to decreasing the risk of cataracts. It’s important to note that heat actively breakdowns the compounds found in vitamin C, so prioritize raw vegetables when you can. Seeds and Nuts Simply an ounce of sunflower seeds and almonds alike contain nearly half the amount of vitamin E that the USDA recommends an average adult consume per day. Vitamin E, in addition to several other nutrients, has been shown to slow down age-related macular degeneration; an eye disease that results in loss of vision. The risk of cataracts may also decrease with added vitamin E, which is also plentiful in hazelnuts, legumes, and even peanut butter. Dark Greens The health benefits that come from dark green vegetables are seemingly never ending. Those like kale, spinach, collard greens, and lettuce are rich in both vitamins E and C. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two carotenoids that can help greatly in lowering your risk of several different eye diseases. These are essentially organic pigments produced by plants that are similar in structure to vitamin A. Lean Meats Lean meats like chicken, pork, and oysters contain zinc, which pulls vitamin A from your liver up to...
Test Your Vision At Home

Test Your Vision At Home

Vision tests are not just for the doctor’s office. There are plenty of ways that you can test your vision right at home and know if you need to get a new pair of glasses. Follow these steps to test your vision at home or on the go! Mobile Apps Almost all smartphones have the ability to host an app that can test your vision. One popular app is called Vision Test. Vision Test is an encompassing app that tests for a wide range of ailments. Vision Test includes: – Visual Acuity Test – Astigmatism Test – Duochrome Test – Colour Test – Far field vision test – Optician Finder – Eye Quiz – Eye Advice and facts All of these tests and advice can be used wherever you go. You could use it to test your family and friends too! Eye Charts Instead of using a mobile device to test your eyesight, another option is to use physical eye charts to test your vision. The Snellen Eye Chart is the most popular chart that people use to test visual acuity. Visual acuity is the ability to identify numbers and letters at a given distance. The given distance for eye charts is usually about six meters, or twenty feet away. Other printable charts you can use are the Ishihara Color Test which helps to determine if someone has color blindness. The color test was created in 1917 by Japanese ophthalmologist Dr. Shinobu Ishihara. The test was so accurate, ophthalmologists around the world still use this method today. Online Resources There are a plethora of resources online that can help...
Eye Allergies And Getting Relief

Eye Allergies And Getting Relief

Springtime is here, and the pollen count is through the roof. Your eyes get itchy, watery, and red. Right on queue. Eye allergies are very common among people and have a tendency to spike during the spring months and into the summer. If you are one of the many individuals who suffer from eye allergies during the seasons, then you may be looking for relief. This article will talk about some common eye allergies and what you can do to counteract them and keep your eyes looking good. Common Symptoms Eye allergies share some similar symptoms to eye diseases so it is important to quickly identify what kind of problem you may have from your symptoms. The most common form of eye allergy is seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC). SAC occurs when there is an influx of plant pollens in the air which causes the eyes to produce histamine. This reaction of chemicals from the eye causes blood vessels to leak making the eyes itchy, irritated, and red. Other symptoms such as sneezing. Congestion or a runny nose may be associated with the reaction to plant-based pollens. The worst thing you can do when having a reaction is to rub your eyes. Rubbing your eyes puts you at risk to make the symptoms worse and potential for damage or infection. Perennial allergic conjunctivitis (PAC) are allergies that occur year round. They have all the same symptoms of SAC but are caused by dust mites, mold, pet dander, and other substances. Remedies There are a number of ways you can go about reducing eye allergens. You will be able to find...