eye-news-roundup-june-week-2

Eye News Roundup – June, Week 2

1: Migraine is Capable of Significantly Affecting Retina and Choroid

A recent study identified the significant effects migraine has on deep ocular structures like ganglion cell layer, choroid and the retinal nerve fiber layer.

Previously, several studies have already been successful in showing that both types of migraines, i.e. migraine with aura (MwA) and migraine without aura (MwoA) produce changes in the cerebral blood flow, which is ultimately reflected on the retina and choroid.

This study, undertaken be the researchers at the Ain Shsams University of Cairo, Egypt, further investigates these changes and their correlation in terms of type (MwA and MwoA), severity and duration of the migraine by using SD-OCT (spectral domain optical coherence tomography) and EDT (Enhanced Depth Imaging Techniques).

The study was able to identify significant thinning in all quadrants of the RNFL (nerve fiber layer, stratum opticum,) in patients suffering from both types of migraine.

Both ganglion cell layers (superior as well as inferior) GCL were also found considerably thinner in migraine patients involved in the study compared to the subjects not affected from the ailment.

All quadrants of the choroid (the most vascular structure of the eye) were also affected, with significant thinning observed in them.

The researchers were also able to find out that MwA and MwoA exhibited the same pathological effects on choroid, RNFL and GCL because of the vascular spasms occurring in both of them.

Further details on the study can be found on Healio.com.

2: New Hope for Vision Correction Using Noninvasive Technique

Researchers at the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science have been able to develop a noninvasive approach for permanent vision correction, according to a report. Preclinical models of the new technique have shown great potential.

Researchers resorted to ‘femtosecond oscillator’ technique, a nonsurgical way of altering the biomechanical and biochemical properties of the corneal tissue with selective and localized perspective.

In this technique, macroscopic geometry of tissue is altered, more importantly, in a nonsurgical manner, with minimal side effects and limitations as compared to the ones found in refractive surgeries.

This new technique is believed to be of great assistance in treating a handful of common eye problems like myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism and irregular astigmatism.

Whereas already existing solutions for these eye problems include simple eye glasses and contact lenses, corneal refractive surgery is considered to be a more permanent solution with reasonably high success rate. However, it’s still an invasive procedure with possible post-surgical complications, rarely also leading to permanent vision loss.

Even laser-assisted vision correction surgeries like LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) relying on ablative technology can potentially thin down or weaken the cornea.

Sinisa Vukelic, spearheading this newly developed noninvasive approach for permanent vision correction at the Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science firmly believes in great potential of the technique as witnessed in preclinical trials.

This new method relies on an ultrafast laser referred as ‘femtosecond oscillator’ for delivering very low energy pulses at high repetition rate to selectively and locally altering the biomechanical and biochemical properties of targeted corneal tissue.

SceinceDaily has more of this interesting new development.

3: Stem Cells May Help Wet AMD Patients Get Back Some Lost Vision

Kate Rauch of American Academy of Ophthalmology reports of another intriguing research development. Some scientists in England have been able to restore some functional vision in blind patients with the help of human embryonic stem cells.

Stem cell implants in damaged eyes of two patients resulted in them getting enough vision to read again, one of them in her sixties and the other in his late eighties.

Both patients suffered from a type of age-related macular degeneration (Wet AMD), caused by the leaking blood vessels in the eyes. In fact, age-related macular degeneration tops the list of the most common causes of blindness in seniors and no reliable cure is available right now for it.

The best patients can do is make the most of their leftover vision using various techniques including low vision aids. However, this new treatment, though still in its preliminary research stages, can serve as the new beacon of hope for people affected with macular degeneration.

In this study, the dying or atrophied retinas in one eye of the patients were implanted with stem cell patches from a nourishing bottom layer of the retina, the ‘RPE’ or ‘Retinal Pigment Epithelium’.

The foreign cells interacted naturally and smoothly with the surrounding tissue to restore some vision, more importantly, without any untreatable side effects as yet.

You can get more on this interesting new development on American Academy of Ophthalmology.

4: What If You Have to Choose Between Your Eyesight and Education?

According to a recent study, there’s a possibility that a lot of time spent in education might increase your risks of getting affected with myopia (shortsightedness), reports Ana Sandoiu on MEDICALNEWSTODAY.com.

In US only, myopia is one of the most common eye diseases affecting people aged 12-54, more than 40% of them suffering from it. And according to various studies, 5 billion people will be suffering from myopia by 2050, with further 1 billion inflicted with high myopia, a condition increasing the risk of glaucoma, retinal detachment and cataract.

Researchers had already established a link between education levels and myopia, but haven’t been able to explore the causality between the two, which is what makes this new finding even more pertinent.

This led University of Bristol and Cardiff University of the UK to explore whether it’s the education that raises the probability of a person catching myopia or it’s the myopia leading one spend more years in the school.

The results of the study determined that each educational year (taking the U.K. educational system as a reference) contributed in more shortsightedness at a rate of -0.27 dioptres yearly refractive error.

A simple analogy to this could be that a person attending university compared to someone leaving school at 16 will be likely to have -1 dioptre more myopia.

On the other hand, scientists conducting the study were unable to find any significant evidence supporting the opposite relationship between the two, i.e. more shortsightedness leads people to spend more years pursuing education.

To explore more aspects of this amazing story, visit MEDICAL NEWS TODAY.

5: Measuring Your Eye Pressure at Home is a Reality Now – Thanks to This New FDA Approved Device

Liz Segre of ‘ALL ABOUT VISION’ reports of this amazing new device that makes monitoring your eye pressure (intraocular pressure – IOP) a reality.

Previously, eye doctors felt quite handicapped at prescribing appropriate dosages of glaucoma medication, owed to frequent IOP fluctuations throughout the day. High IOP can potentially damage the eye’s optic nerve, resulting in permanent vision loss.

This new device named as ‘Icare Home device’ (approved by the FDA) comes as a handy tool to help under such circumstances. It’s really simple to use. All you need to do is position it correctly over your eye getting assistance from red and green light signals while it automatically identifies and take measurements of the eye you want to monitor.

It can take a single reading as well as run an automated sequence of six measurements for greater accuracy.

Learn more about this device on ALL ABOUT VISION.