The future of eye care in the world has been impacted with growing technology and new innovations discovered in labs around the globe. These new discoveries and ideas are helping to treat and cure many different eye diseases or problems associated with aging that affect your eye’s health. Scientists have been working to get some of these treatments into clinical trials and available to the general public. Here are 10 exciting medical breakthroughs in eye care.
1. Artificial Eye Advances
With advances in 3D printing, artificial eye construction is becoming more cost-effective and exact. Patients waiting for a new artificial eye would be able to get their prosthetic much sooner when 3D printing of this organ becomes more commonplace. This process makes it much easier to make a more perfect match for a patient’s other existing eye, making the transition to wearing an artificial eye less stressful.
2. Gene Therapy for Eye Disease
Gene therapy offers additional possibilities for effective treatments for degenerative or genetic eye diseases. Trials with mice have shown some promise, and scientists are working to bring this technology to human trials at some point in the future. The idea behind the therapy is that genes that cause eye problems could be identified and isolated, giving researchers some promise in finding cures for some diseases.
3. Telemedicine for Eye Health
Breakthroughs in telemedicine are also helping doctors and specialists treat common eye problems. With new advances in apps and wearable technology, doctors can get a better idea about what is wrong. They can use video conferencing or other diagnostic tools from afar to help bring better treatment options to their patients. Telemedicine can also help the medical field save money with more convenient treatment plans.
4. Eye Transplants
Expect to see more types of eye transplants in the future along with higher rates of success for patients with this treatment option. More complex transplants are being attempted with facial tissue, hands, and other organs. Doctors can help patients save their vision with more effective ways of completing eye transplants.
5. Diamond Contact Lenses
Another advance being investigated in the treatment of common eye diseases uses diamonds. The diamonds that would be used for prescription treatment contact lenses for eye health aren’t the same kind as you wear in a ring, or with a necklace. This type of gemstone is the nanodiamond, which could potentially help relieve pressure on the eyes that comes from common ailments.
6. Stem Cell Contacts
A new treatment for blindness that is showing some potential uses stem cells inside of high-tech contact lenses. Some types of degenerative eye diseases can be cured with the use of stem cells. Stem cells are loaded into a certain type of contact lens and inserted into the eye. When the contacts are worn, the stem cells can begin to multiply, which can help restore vision and promote eye healing.
7. Corneal Inlays
As people age, the need for reading glasses becomes more apparent. The eye’s ability to see up close becomes weaker in your senior years. For most people, that means investing in a pair of reading glasses whenever they need to read something small or examine something close up. Technology has a better solution with a device called a corneal inlay. Recently approved by the FDA, a corneal inlay would need to be implanted into the eye to be effective.
8. Glaucoma Treatments
There are also more promising methods of drug treatment for glaucoma being developed. Bruce Eaton PhD, leader of the Colorado Bioscience Association, is part of a new brand of knowledgeable experts who are working to develop better treatments for this common ailment. Their hope is to use biotechnology and other innovative drug therapies to reverse the damage that comes along with glaucoma.
9. Apps for Blindness
Another way that science and technology are making strides in vision treatments is through more helpful apps for the blind. While much of the research into vision treatment advances focuses on prevention and curing eye problems and blindness, there is a new class of technological wizards working to make the world a more accessible place for people with vision impairments. Many new apps are being developed to give blind people equal access to public transportation options, menus at restaurants, and more.
10. Bionic Eyes
The final future breakthrough that could be coming to hospitals soon involves bionic eye technology. Devices that would seem more at home in a science fiction film are now being used to help patients who have lost an eye. Instead of getting a realistic looking replacement for a lost eye that has no function, or going through an eye transplant with a donor’s tissue,