vision treatment

Common Vision Problem May Finally Be Reversible

The most common vision-related problem is known as myopia – or nearsightedness. More and more people are developing this condition more than ever and estimates of myopia cases may hit 2.5 billion by 2020.

The simplest way to treat myopia is with corrective lenses and a more permanent fix is through corneal refractive surgery. Corneal refractive surgery is quite invasive and can lead to complications and in rare cases could contribute to permanent vision loss.

A new treatment has been discovered that is non-invasive and shown to correct myopia.

The new treatment uses a femtosecond oscillator, which is an ultrafast laser that delivers low pulses of low energy at a high repetition rate, which alters the properties of the corneal tissue. This procedure changes the tissues geometry, which makes it effective in treating myopia.

So far, this procedure has been shown to have minimal side effects and limitations compared to traditional treatment methods.

Researcher Sinisa Vukelic explained, “We think our study is the first to use this laser output regimen for noninvasive change of corneal curvature or treatment of other clinical problems. We’ve seen low-density plasma in multi-photo imaging where it’s been considered an undesired side-effect. We were able to transform this side-effect into a viable treatment for enhancing the mechanical properties of collagenous tissues.”

Leejee H. Suh, who was not involved in the study, commented, “Refractive surgery has been around for many years, and although it is a mature technology, the field has been searching for a viable, less invasive alternative for a long time. Vukelic’s next-generation modality shows great promise. This could be a major advance in treating a much larger global population and address the myopia pandemic.”

Vukelic’s group is now planning to perform larger trials by the end of the year. If his method continues to show promise, then it could very well become the new gold standard for treating myopia and hopefully other vision-related problems.

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https://engineering.columbia.edu/press-releases/technique-correct-vision

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