eye-news-roundup-may-week-04

Eye News Roundup – May, Week 4

1: First Artificial Iris Gets FDA Approval – A New Milestone in Treating Eye Problems

Lo and behold, here comes another milestone in eye care as reported in ‘Healio.com’. A prosthetic device gets FDA approval, which can be used as a replacement for a damaged or missing iris, according to the announcement made by the agency. This artificial iris, referred as the ‘CustomFlex’ was granted to HumanOptics AG.

FDA approval for this state-of-the-art prosthetic device, the very first of its kind, opens up new avenues in treatment of iris defects affecting its exposure to glare and bright light. It would also be used for improvement in eye’s cosmetic appearance in patients with ‘anirdia’.

Some other major eye conditions that could be treated with this new artificial iris include congenital aniridia along with iris defects inflicted due to other conditions like albinism, trauma and surgical removal.

CustomFlex has already undergone clinical trials quite successfully, with 94% of patients showing satisfaction with the appearance of this new prosthetic device and about 70% patients reporting improvement in light sensitivity and glare.

More on this interesting new development can be found on Healio.

2: Are Smartphones Affecting Our Eyes? Some Protection Tips by the Experts

The fact is that the number of screens in our lives seems to continually grow and exposure to smartphones screens leaves all others behind in this regard. New research increasingly points out to the fact that it is making our eyes worse, according to this story by JR THORPE in ‘Bustle.com.

Thorpe relates to this session of Bustle with a medical advisor for the Vision Council, Dr. Justin Bazan, whereby he reveals that 83% of Americans use digital devices in excess of two hours every single day and 53.1% of them using two devices simultaneously. And according to research physical discomfort results in many individuals who report using such devices for more than two hours at a stretch.

Excessive exposure to latest electronic devices including smartphones and tabs can result in a host of eye problems ranging from ‘dry-eye syndrome’ to digital eyestrain (also known as computer vision syndrome).

In short, there are various ways working extensively with screens can result in affecting your eye health. That’s why experts like Dr. Bazan offer some tips to minimize the damaging effects of screen exposure, such as resorting to eyewear featuring magnification lenses, blue light filtering and antireflective capabilities to minimize digital eyestrain symptoms.

Moreover, keeping digital devices at about arm’s length from your face, increasing font size of whatever you read and taking frequent breaks from digital devices is highly recommended.

Get access to more of pro tips on how to deal with eye problems associated with screen exposure on BUSTLE.

3: Get Ready for Replication of Eye Exams on Virtual Reality App

Technological advances are on an all-time high, sometimes even blurring the line between the real world and virtual world, just like this new virtual reality tool developed by researchers at Birmingham City University, UK, enabling medical students to replicate eye examinations virtually, as reported in Healio.com. This development is quite significant in helping medical students in their understanding about diagnosing eye conditions.

A virtual reality headset is used by this mobile

phone application for enhanced, moveable and magnified images of the interior of patient’s eye, helping them better observe, learn and identify any issues.

According to an associate professor at Birmingham City University, Andrew Wilson, PhD, who was part of the research team working on the idea, such an artificial reality program can assist trainee doctors by offering them as much time as they possibly need to get better acquainted with performing appropriate systematic processes, identifying the signs and symptoms of conditions like raised intracranial pressure and diabetes, thus eliminating the need for real patients.

You can find more on this intriguing development on Healio.com.

4: Expanding Horizons – 3D Printed Human Corneas

Now who could have imagined such a development just a few years – 3D printed human corneas – thanks to a group of researchers at Newcastle University, UK, one of the most attention grabbing stories shared by MedicalXpress.com.

Some experts are referring this development to one of the best ones in recent times, a technique promising unlimited supply of corneas in future. Cornea, being the outermost layer of the human eye, plays a vital role in vision focusing.

Unfortunately, there is quite a significant shortage of well functioning transplant-ready corneas in the whole world. As of now, around 10 million people around the globe are looking forward for a surgery to avoid corneal blindness, which can result from eye diseases like trachoma. Another 5 million people fall victim to total blindness as a result of corneal scarring caused by abrasions, burns, lacerations or diseases.

‘Experimental Eye Research’ recently published the ‘proof-of-concept’ research report, which reveals how human corneal stromal cells (stem cells) from a healthy donor formed a printable ‘bio-ink’ solution after mixing with alginate and collagen. This bio-ink was successfully used to print the shape of a human cornea using a simple low-cost 3-D bio printer. Even more amazing is the fact that the whole printing took less than 10 minutes to complete.

Though much more research and development is still needed in perfecting 3D printable corneas, researchers were able to show the feasibility of printing corneas using coordinates taken from a patient’s eye, hence contributing in overcoming the worldwide shortage of corneas.

If you want to learn more about this intriguing story, visit MedicalXpress.

5: Are We Getting Close to Detecting Schizophrenia Using a Portable Device?

Patti Verbanas-Rutgers from ‘futurity.org’ brings us this fascinating story of a portable device commonly found in optometrists’ office, potentially helpful in quicker, cheaper and reliable diagnosis of schizophrenia. It would not only be able to predict relapse and symptom severity, but also assess treatment effectiveness.

This study published in Journal of Abnormal Psychology involves researchers using a portable device (for the first time) to record retina’s electrical activity, the RETeval, to determine if people suffering from schizophrenia exhibited abnormal electrical activity in the retina.

The results of the test confirmed that the device was able to correctly identify reduced electrical activity in the retina of the participants suffering from schizophrenia, also in cell types that were being studied for the very first time through this research.

Observing biomarkers in the eye for the purpose of understanding psychiatric disorders is a new and hugely unexplored field of study.

Docia Demmin, the lead author and a doctoral student associated with Rutgers University’s psychology department said that while the portable device was successful in distinguishing people with schizophrenia from those not having a psychiatric problem, it’s still way too soon to consider this as a fully mature diagnostic tool. However, it is surely a small step in the right direction.

To catch up more of this fabulous story, visit Futurity.