Interesting advancements in eye surgeries render hope to countless

Cataracts

Proteins which comprise the eye’s light-focusing lens continue to clump with years, gradually making vision clouded, fuzzy and sensitive to glare. The Symfony lens is just one of the recent breakthroughs.

New hope

Post-op adjustment: During cataract surgery, your ophthalmologist has to calculate the correction your replacement lens needs, but changes that occur with healing can throw the correction off, resulting in less than optimal results, says ophthalmologist Nick Mamalis, codirector of the Intermountain Ocular Research Center at the University of Utah. The RxSight Light Adjustable Lens allows physicians alter its power two to four weeks after surgery, when the eye has treated and refraction has stabilized.

A correction for old replacement lenses: If you’ve already had cataract operation, you may one day be able to upgrade your existing lens. A method in the pipeline by Perfect Lens utilizes a laser to alter the correction on a standard lens already in your eye. If your eyes alter over time, it is possible to keep adjusting the same lens without resorting to another surgery.

Bad night sight together with sensitivity to glare might point to the start of cataracts.

Glaucoma

Liquid moving in the eye maintains healthier pressure levels because the excess drains through a meshwork of outflow pathways. When this meshwork falters and liquid builds up, pressure in the eye can harm the optic nerve and lead to eyesight loss. Not every patient reacts to current medications, however, and conventional glaucoma surgeries are serious procedures with rare but potentially serious side effects.

New hope

Advancement meds: Vyzulta, authorized by the Food And Drug Administration in November 2017, is a property of an existing class of drugs called prostaglandin analogs and works by releasing nitric oxide, providing a dual action to lower pressure in the eye. Rhopressa, recently approved, belongs to a new class of medicines called Rho kinase inhibitors; they target cells in the eye’s drainage meshwork to restore outflow.

Microinvasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS) is a relatively new development that, while not always as effective as conventional glaucoma surgery, causes less trauma and has fewer side effects. The FDA-approved iStent, a tiny tube that sustains the traditional outflow of liquid through the eye’s drainage meshwork, is inserted using an incision so small that surgeons view it through a microscope. (An even smaller version, the iStent inject, has not too long ago received Federal Drug Administration approval.) The comparable CyPass Micro-Stent opens a fluid pathway through a different passage. Both are put in at the instant of cataract surgery, therefore the added procedure risk is even smaller. Loss of peripheral vision is a key sign of glaucoma.

Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) has a genetic element, but weight gain, smoking and never wearing sunglasses tend to be among the lifestyle elements that increase your risk for the condition. It occurs when the macula — the middle portion of the light-sensing retina at the back of the eye — becomes damaged, resulting in distortion and vision loss in the middle of your field of view. In the “wet” form of the disease, leaking blood vessels and scar tissue can significantly accelerate vision reduction. Using AREDS2 supplements (a mix of vitamins C and E, zinc, copper, lutein as well as zeaxanthin) might decrease the disease’s advancement. For wet AMD, scheduled injections of drugs into the eye could suppress a protein known as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), that promotes the growth of abnormal blood vessels. There are also surgical solutions available. However these treatments can just decrease, not end, the advancement of AMD, which can end up in extreme blindness.

New hope

Gene therapy: We’re nearing the time when hereditary causes of diseases such as AMD can be prevented or remedied with gene editing. “A deactivated virus loaded with a corrected gene would penetrate cells and insert new code into your DNA like a cut-and-paste on your computer,” Haller describes. Around December 2017, the FDA approved this approach for a condition that leads to blindness in children — the first gene treatment for any sort of inherited condition. Professionals anticipate major advance in the next decade, perhaps even programming the human body to produce its own ­anti-VEGF medication.

Next-gen stem cells: You’ve heard of embryonic stem cells — and the controversies about using them. Now there’s a different classification of cells that can be derived from ones own body and utilized to grow a wide array of brand new cells and tissues, such as specific retinal cells which go bad in macular degeneration. A commercially obtainable treatment could arrive within ten years.

An eye telescope: This could be the first and only FDA-approved operative device for people that have end-stage macular degeneration. One eye’s lens gets replaced with the small Implantable Miniature Telescope, that magnifies the field of view and boosts central sight. The device is presently restricted to those who haven’t undergone cataract surgery, but a brand new study is investigating whether swapping the telescope for a previously installed intraocular lens can safely assist patients.