New Vision Training for Glaucoma

computer-based eye trainingNew research indicates a breakthrough in repairing vision for patients with glaucoma. A clinical trial published in JAMA Ophthalmology showed vision improvement from daily computer-based training. Retinal damage due to glaucoma is considered irreversible, but this research indicates vision restoration is possible. By continually activating patients’ residual vision, computer training may be able to strengthen vision.

The clinical trial, conducted by Drs. J. Gublin and B. A. Sabel, used a randomized sample of patients with glaucoma (mean age: 61.7 years; age range: 39-79 years). For three months, patients performed one-hour computer training sessions. The objective was to determine if this training would strengthen the residual vision of the patients. The trial was successful. Patients that had performed the vision training showed significant improvement in detection accuracy compared with a placebo group. These patients also showed faster reaction time in comparison.

The study indicated that repeatedly activating residual vision increases detection sensitivity. This was done by training the visual field borders with computer training. The success of this trial indicates that field vision loss due to glaucoma is in part reversible. The research suggests the possibility for new treatment options in patients with glaucoma.

Is There a Link Between Keratoconus and Magnesium?

Vision problemsKeratoconus is a disorder of the cornea that causes visual distortion. Changes in the cellular structures of the cornea cause it to thin and bend into a pronounced cone shape, losing its normal gentle curvature. This leads to several types of visual distortion including blurring, halos around lights, and, in some cases, rapid vision loss. The signature sign of Keratoconus is the perception of multiple ghostly images, called monocular polyopia.

The causes of Keratoconus are not yet known, but one possible link is magnesium deficiency. Numerous Continue reading

Antioxidant Omega-3 Fatty Acids May Help Wet Macular Deneration (AMD)

omega-3 fatty acidsA new study shows that omega-3 fatty acids could help with wet macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is expected to increase by 50% in older adults in industrialized countries by 2020. As the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly, it is a condition of serious significance. The macula is the central part of the retina. While it makes up only about 2% of the total retina, the brain devotes half of its visual processing network to information from the macula. It is responsible for central vision. The retina is a thin layer of nerves Continue reading

Seniors Are at Higher Risk for Vitreous Tears and Detachment

eye examVitreous detachment is typically seen in elderly individuals. The retina receives light signals and transmits them to the optic nerve which is connected to the back part of the brain, where light signals are interpreted and images are formed by the brain. The vitreous is composed of about 99% water and 1% collagen, hyaluronic acid, special substances Continue reading

How Sjogren’s Syndrome Dries the Eyes and Damages Health

dry eye dropsSjogren’s syndrome is an autoimmune disorder of the rheumatoid type. Rheumatoid type diseases are characterized by inflammation and pain, dry eyes and a dry mouth. There are two types. In Primary Sjogren’s syndrome, the disorder occurs without the presence of an accompanying autoimmune disorder. In Secondary Sjogren’s syndrome, it occurs in conjunction with another autoimmune disorder.

In autoimmune disease, the body’s immune system mistakes some of its own cells as foreign invaders and attacks Continue reading

Google Contact Lens May Help Diabetes

google contact lensGoogle has announced plans to build a contact lens that can monitor blood sugar levels. The device that may come replete with miniature, flexible electronics, sensors and antennae. The lens would keep track of blood sugar levels via human tears. Google’s contact lens would be able to alert wearers when their blood sugar levels are too high or too low. For diabetics, this could theoretically free them from the need for frequent finger pricks to check blood sugar. It could also give them tools to better manage their blood sugar. Diabetes can lead to diabetic retinopathy, a serious eye disease (learn more).

While the device still Continue reading

Macular Holes and Macular Puckers Most Common Over Age 60

eye exam elderlyThe macula is a part of the eye crucial to good vision, but as we age, it can be damaged by macular holes and macular puckers. What are the symptoms, and what are the approaches to treating and preventing these problems?

Let’s start by asking, what is the macula? The macula is the central part of the retina. It is yellowish in color. It is the part of the retina that creates clear, sharp, focused vision. And it is the part of the retina most heavily populated with cones, the type of eye cell that allows us to see in color. The retina is a thin layer at the back of the eye. It is where the lens of the eye focuses Continue reading

What is Fuchs’ Corneal Dystrophy?

fuchs' syndrome exampleFuchs’ Corneal Dystrophy is named for the Austrian ophthalmologist Ernst Fuchs, who first described the condition in 1910. He described thirteen patients who suffered from corneal clouding, blisters on the corneal epithelia and loss of corneal sensation.

“Dystrophy” refers to any disorder or condition in which a particular tissue or organ of the body wastes away. In Fuchs’ Dystrophy, the tissue that wastes away is the corneal endothelium. Just as epithelium refers to an external skin layer, endothelium refers to an internal skin layer. The corneal endothelium is the back Continue reading

Causes of Night Blindness / Nyctalopia

driving at nightNight blindness, also called “Nyctalopia”, is a condition characterized by the inability to see well or to see at all in low light. It can also give a diminished ability to see contrast and difficulty transitioning from bright light to dim light. Night blindness has many causes, some that are treatable and some that are not.

In order to understand night blindness, one must understand a little about how the eye works. The retina is located in the back part of the eye, where light falls after passing through the lens. The retina has two types of cells that respond to light: rods and cones. Cones receive bright light and interpret color and detail. They are primarily Continue reading