Vision impairment is no longer a matter of age. There are other known causes of poor vision such as infections, diseases, and genetic factors. Moreover, an accident may affect your nervous system rendering your eyes blind.
Luckily, ophthalmologists worldwide are engaging in deep research to come up with innovations that can cure eye defects and sicknesses quickly and effectively. In fact, innovations have already started transforming the eye care industry, made possible by technology’s advancement over the years. It could significantly improve the options for correcting vision and reducing vision loss. That’s why in case you sense abnormalities in your eyes’ health, you can visit eye specialists like www.coastaleyesurgeons.com for a checkup and receive the necessary treatment.
Types of Vision Problems
It’s thought that there’re several categories of vision challenges. These include:
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Blurred vision (refractive errors)
- Age-related macular degeneration
In this article you’re going to learn outstanding innovations of the last few decades that are used by doctors in vision correction:
- Self-Adjusting Eyeglasses
Technology has paved the way for eyeglass lenses that self-adjust to correctly focus on objects for the wearer, depending on the eyesight problem such as presbyopia.
Self-adjusting eyeglasses put an end to bifocals. These eyeglasses allow individuals to look wherever they want while maintaining their clarity or field of view, all thanks to lenses that can alter their optical properties in real-time. This innovation could make it possible for people with eye problems to only ever need one pair of spectacles for the rest of their lives.
But how does the lens of self-adjusting eyeglasses accomplish such fantastic functionality? Well, it’s possible because these lenses actually aren’t made of rigid materials, unlike traditional eyeglasses. Instead, each lens is comprised of two flexible membranes that encase the highly refractive liquid, glycerol. The liquid layer can adjust the lens’ refractive index, thus, changing the glasses’ focus depending on the distance of whatever object the wearer is trying to view.
- Corneal Inlay Femtosecond Lasers
If you’re wearing contact lenses, chances are that you might be using silicone hydrogel. In the past, it’s believed that contact lenses have been the focus of optometric innovation, and one of the chief innovations is multifocal lenses. It might be used by patients that require correction treatment of both farsightedness and nearsightedness. They may also be used by individuals with presbyopia or problems with up-close focusing because of aging.
Corrective lenses have indeed been the solution for cornea that’s becoming more brittle and stiffer for centuries. However, thanks to recent advancements in technology, there’s now a surgical solution that can help focus the light that’s coming into the eye. It’s called a corneal inlay.
Corneal inlays actually aren’t new. They’ve been tried to correct refractive errors for many years now. However, the most significant barrier to its success has been the difficulty of placing corneal inlays within the patient’s corneal stroma effectively and safely. That’s why several recent attempts to use corneal inlays to correct hyperopia failed. That’s the case until femtosecond lasers came. The technology has put corneal inlays on the map as one of the leading methods for fixing vision issues. With its help, ophthalmologists now can create precise pockets into the patient’s corneal stroma at specific depths, making the process of placing corneal inlays faster, smoother, and safer.
Ophthalmology is a technology-driven field. In fact, it’s one of the most tech-driven medical branches. That’s why most of the significant advances in eye care relied on devices rather than drugs. Even robots and artificial intelligence (AI) have already been part of ophthalmology’s impending revolution.
Robot-assisted surgeries are now more critical than ever, considering the rapid progress of gene replacement therapy, optogenetics, and other retinal genetic therapies. That’s because these procedures require a high level of delivery precision. Even common surgical treatment techniques such as refractive surgery, corneal surgery, cataract surgery, and glaucoma surgery can gain precision and accuracy with the help of robots. The use of robots is believed to lead to unprecedented safety and efficacy levels too.
The first-ever surgery inside the human eye performed by a robot is the removal of fine membrane growth on the retina. It significantly improved the accuracy of the delicate surgery. In the past, doctors performed the procedure without robots. However, given the retina’s delicate nature, even the most experienced and highly skilled eyecare experts can cut too deeply, causing small amounts of hemorrhaging. Other forms of visual impairment may develop as a result.
Robots, however, can make movements during a surgical procedure as precise as one micron by acting like a mechanical hand possessing seven independent motors. Note that the surgeon remains in control. They’ll use a combination of joystick and touch screen in maneuvering the robot hand. They’ll also use an operating microscope to monitor movements.
- Bionic eyes
Many people worldwide suffer from low vision or are completely blind. It’s no wonder why experts are determined to discover new ways of restoring a person’s eyesight. One of the long-term solutions that scientists see and are continuing to develop are bionic eye implants. It’s hoped that further developments would make the technology just as effective as cochlear implants, which allow individuals with hearing problems to obtain a sense of sound.
What’s a bionic eye? It’s a retinal implant that connects to a video camera to convert images into electrical impulses. Bionic eyes are designed to mimic the retina’s function. With the help of generated electrical impulses, the remaining retinal cells can be activated to bring the signal back to the patient’s brain.
However, it’s essential to note that bionic implants’ development is still in its infancy. It means that bionic eyes are still a long way from the natural eyes’ impressive attributes. Nevertheless, millions of people will benefit from bionic eyes in the future once they become fully functioning.
Eye complications are common. They can be a result of old age or disease. If you’re suffering from eye problems, particularly vision loss, your ophthalmologist may suggest a treatment option involving any or a combination of the innovations mentioned and discussed in this post. The good news is that such advancements have made vision correction and other eye procedures more effective.