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New Treatment Makes Old Eyes Young Again


Sept. 9, 2003 — Imagine having the eyes you had when you were 20. An exploratory modern fabric promises to do fair that and may one day dispense with the need for bifocals by making a difference old eyes feel and see like unused again.

Analysts say the gel-like material may inevitably be utilized to replace ancient, aging lenses within the eye; advertising a other way to treat cataracts as well as presbyopia or “old vision.” Nearly everybody over 40 endures from a few form of presbyopia, which makes it more difficult to studied without amplification.

“This could speak to a totally different approach to the treatment of cataracts and presbyopia,” says researcher Nathan Ravi, MD, PhD, relate professor of ophthalmology and visual sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, in a news discharge. “As we age, the lens of the eye steadily loses its ability to adjust its focus.

“We have demonstrated that this gel has comparable mechanical properties to the lens of the eye, and we trust it moreover will be able to perform the visual capacities of the characteristic focal point,” says Ravi.

Gel May Resuscitate Maturing Eyes

The polymer gel-like material could be a altered hydrogel comparative to those used in numerous extended-wear contact lenses.

“The gel material is delicate to the touch, and it has elastic properties similar to those found in the natural human focal point,” says analyst Madalene Fetsch, a graduate assistant at Washington College, in a news discharge. “It moreover looks as in case it has the potential to be injectable, which would mean it can be conveyed with less intrusive surgery.”

By making the gel injectable, analysts say they would moreover maintain a strategic distance from the current practice of cutting a opening in the eye in arrange to insert a substitution focal point during cataract surgery.

Researchers say the unused procedure would call for removing the ancient and clouded lens material from the capsular sack that holds the lens within the eye while clearing out the rest of the structure intaglio. Then the surgeon would replace the old focal point material with the clear, flexible polymer gel by injecting it into the empty capsular bag.

Analysts displayed the findings this week at the American Chemical Society National Meeting in Washington, D.C.

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So far, they say the most problem with the gel is that they have to make strides the gel’s refractive record. This is often the degree to which the gel refracts light and allows the eye to center. But researchers say other researchers have been successful in improving the refractive record in comparable gels.

Researchers say they trust to start creature testing of the gel early following year.

“Expecting that we make it all the way to human ponders, we would probably to begin with offer it to cataract patients since by that time they almost certainly would have presbyopia and they’re looking at a comparative surgery besides,” says Fetsch.

After that, she says the treatment would be advertised to people with presbyopia who no longer need to wear bifocals or contacts.