Does Medical Marijuana Help with Glaucoma?

medical marijaunaMedical marijuana, or cannabis, is being legalized in more and more American states. For more than 40 years, the effect of medical marijuana on glaucoma has been studied. As cannabis becomes more accessible — and legal — glaucoma patients are becoming more interested in how this drug could help with their condition.

Medical marijuana has been shown in studies to decrease intraocular pressure (IOP) in glaucoma patients. The National Eye Institute found that although medical marijuana lowered IOP after taking the drug, the pressure is decreased for only 3 to 4 hours. This is considered Continue reading

What is Glaucoma? A Complete Overview by Natural Eye Care

glaucoma testGlaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in the US(1), and yet many cases of glaucoma begin symptomless. In fact, 3 million-plus Americans are estimated to have glaucoma, but only half of them have been diagnosed(2). Glaucoma can affect anyone, but it is especially prevalent in persons over age 60. Everyone should have regular eye exams throughout their lives to screen for glaucoma, especially a dilated eye exam. Glaucoma tends to run in families, but anyone can get it.

How Glaucoma Is Diagnosed

Most people are familiar with the puff of air or the glaucoma device that looks like a metal light pen that is a standard part of any eye exam. The test measures Continue reading

Dilating Drops Not Necessary with New Diagnostic Smartphone Eye Device

paper sunglasses examResearchers at Rice University have designed a new smartphone-connected system called “mobileVision” that lets optometrists view the retina without using dilating drops. This device promises to avoid the inconvenience associated with dilating drops and make diagnostic eye exams easier in third-world countries. This could allow eye doctors to detect eye disease in its early stages, when treatment is most effective.

Described as a “reverse microscope,” mobileVision builds on technology used in astronomy to view stars from the Continue reading

New Method for Creating Stem Cells

lab-stem-cells-200A new method has been studied for turning cells into multipurpose stem cells. The technique, which exposes cells to a mild acid bath, may present a more efficient source of stem cells than those currently in use. While this method was only performed in a study with mice, the hope is it can be reproduced with human cells in the future.

The new method was tested by researchers in Kobe, Japan and in Boston. To achieve pluripotency, Continue reading

Cataracts Easy to Diagnose with New Vula Smartphone App

cataracts smartphone appPeople in developing countries can face huge hurdles getting cataracts correctly diagnosed and treated. A new smartphone app called “Vula” helps diagnose cataracts using a photograph. A routine and very short cataract surgery can then be scheduled. This app is helping overcome barriers to treating this very common source of vision impairment and blindness.

Cataracts are a film that form on the lens of the Continue reading

What are the Symptoms and Treatments for Cataracts?

cataracts in the elderlyWith cataracts affecting nearly 22 million Americans, it’s not surprising that most of us know people who have had cataract surgery. We may even be contemplating cataract surgery for ourselves. Since cataracts are almost never a medical emergency, you should feel entirely comfortable taking the time to learn more about cataracts and explore all your options.

What is a Cataract?

A cataract is simply a spot on the lens of the eye that you cannot readily see through. These spots are made up of clumps of normal eye protein and generally form slowly over time. Although most cataracts are related to aging, it is also possible for cataracts Continue reading

More Omega-3 May Reduce Brain Shrinkage

omega 3 oilsResearchers have found that there is a correlation between a larger brain volume and higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids. This suggests that the typical loss of brain cells and volume that occurs with age can be slowed with diet changes and supplements to increase omega-3 intake.

Two types of omega-3 fatty acids in particular–eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)–were examined Continue reading

Fighting Blindness with Gene Therapy, Stem Cells, Bionics

scientist beaker 200Many advances in technology that could improve the lives of blind people are on the horizon. Solutions that were thought impossible not long ago are now becoming a reality for many patients suffering from retinal diseases. Treatments such as gene therapy, stem cells, and bionic retinas have shown that vision loss can in fact be reversible.

Common degenerative diseases of the retina, like age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa (RP), affect tens of millions of people worldwide, but blindness resulting from these conditions had previously been considered irreversible. Continue reading

Eye Protein Road Map for AMD

eye cutaway 200A cutting-edge project has produced a vast “road map” for proteins in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) and choroid of the eye. The project, conducted by recent grantees of a BrightFocus grant, mapped the locations and quantities of 4,403 different eye proteins. This research could be invaluable to further understanding of conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD).  Continue reading

New Glaucoma Contact Lens Dissolves

contact lens for glaucomaA biodegradable contact lens is being developed that would administer glaucoma medication and then disappear. The problem with eye drops is that they slip out of the eye and much of the medication is lost. This contact lens, designed by Mridula P. Menon in India, uses a nano-carrier loaded with the glaucoma drug acetazolamide that is dissolved in a transparent vinyl polymer.

The resulting lens can be easily inserted into the Continue reading