Tag Archive presbyopia

Could this be the end of reading glasses

Could this be the end of reading glasses? Lens that can restore sight in older people is being developed – and it’s made from the same material as a SMARTPHONE screen

  • As people age, their eye lens stiffens and they develop presbyopia
  • Known also as long-sightedness, it causes people to need reading glasses
  • Scientist is developing a lens made from liquid crystal used in TV screens
  • Will be inserted surgically and will act like a ‘young lens’, restoring vision

Originally posted at dailymail.co.uk

Physicist Devesh Mistry, of Manchester and Leeds University, is developing a new lens which he says will stop the eye ageing and restore the sight in people with presbyopia - long-sightednessPhysicist Devesh Mistry, of Manchester and Leeds University, is developing a new lens which he says will stop the eye ageing and restore the sight in people with presbyopia – long-sightedness

Our eyesight failing is thought to be an inevitable part of ageing.

By the time they reach their 50s, most people require reading glasses when looking scouring a menu or pouring over a book.

Now, a scientist is developing an artificial lens that can stop vision from deteriorating, and restore sight in older people.

The lens, made from a material called liquid crystal – which is currently used in TV and smartphone screens – could be implanted into the eye in a straightforward surgical procedure.

It will adjust automatically with could be available within a decade, The Times reports.

As people age their eyesight gets worse, and they develop a long-sightedness known as presbyopia, which occurs due to changes to the lens.

In a younger person, the muscles around the lens contract and pull the lens into shape to focus on things close by.

The muscles and lens then relax when you look at things in the distance.

But as we age, the lens, which is mainly made of protein, stiffens as the protein fibres in it break down.

So when the muscles around the eye contract, they can no longer bend the lens to bring things into focus as easily.

Most people in their 50s begin wearing reading glasses or contact lenses for close work due to the condition.

The lens is made from liquid crystal, a material that is currently used in TV and smartphone screens. Pictured is a prototypeThe lens is made from liquid crystal, a material that is currently used in TV and smartphone screens. Pictured is a prototype

It can get progressively worse until the age of 65, when the lens may start to cloud and a cataract forms – requiring surgery.

Now physicist Devesh Mistry, who splits his time between the University of Manchester and University of Leeds, says he can restore vision in those with presbyopia.

He says the condition can be cured liquid crystal, a material that is not a solid, liquid or a gas but is in the fourth state of matter.

Liquid crystal lies between crystalline solids and liquids.

It has an orderly structure like a crystal, but its properties can be changed by mechanical or electrical force.

It is used in TV and smartphone screens because its refractive index – the angle at which it bends light – can be changed by applying electric current.

Therefore, Mr Mistry believes the material could be used to develop a lens that focuses automatically, depending on the eye muscles’ movements.

Most people in their 50s begin wearing reading glasses for close work due to presbyopia (file photo)

The new lens could be inserted into the eye in a quick operation under local anaesthetic, similar to how cataracts are currently inserted.

The eye surgeon would make a cut in the cornea, the lens covering the eye, use ultrasound to break down the old stiff or cloudy lens, and suck it out with a vacuum.

Then, they would replace it with the new one made of liquid crystal.

Mr Mistry is currently testing the lenses in the lab and is aiming to have a prototype ready by the end of his doctorate.

He expects the lenses to become available within the next decade.

‘At the moment, there’s no reason to believe that it’s not going to be a significant improvement on what’s already out there,’ he told The Times.

Mr Mistry’s work is funded by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, which supports new ideas in industrial research

He is also working with contact lenses company UltraVision.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3273821/Could-end-reading-glasses-Lens-restore-sight-older-people-developed-s-material-SMARTPHONE-screen.html#ixzz3olFdfm4z
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Aging Eyes Make an Economic Impact

Aging Eyes Make an Economic Impact

Originally posted by huffingtonpost.com
by Maureen Cavanagh: President Vision Impact Institute

Is it hard for you to read this blog on your smartphone? Do you have trouble reading a magazine, menu or the information on a prescription bottle? Does holding text away from your body at arm’s length actually help you focus?

If you answered “yes” to those questions, you might have presbyopia, the progressively diminishing ability of the eye to focus on up-close items, which for many becomes noticeable around the age of 40. The word originated with the Greek word “presbus” for old man combined with “?ps” for eye. Yes, I quite prefer the term presbyopia to “old man eyes.”

Don’t worry: You’re not alone. Presbyopia is actually a widespread problem — and it affects almost everyone at some point in their lives. In 2011, there were 1.272 billion cases of presbyopia reported around the globe. Of those, one-third were among working-age people 40-49 and another 41 percent were ages 50-64.

Vision impairment, such as presbyopia, can compromise a person’s quality of life because it reduces the capacity for everyday activities: reading, working, driving, etc. A major concern with presbyopia is that the people most affected by it — people over 40 — are likely to be in their prime working years. That can and does have a negative impact on global productivity.

A study by Kevin D. Frick, Ph.D., and others, highlighted on the Vision Impact Institute website, estimates a global productivity loss of more than $11 billion due to presbyopia for the 244 million cases worldwide among people younger than 50. Take into account all the cases of those under 65 and assumed to be productive, and the productivity loss increases to more than $25 billion.

The good news is that almost all presbyopia cases can be easily fixed with corrective lenses. The study points out that if those cases achieved the presbyopia correction level that Europe enjoys today — 96 percent — the global productivity loss deflates to $1.390 billion, a manageable 0.002 percent of the world’s economy.

The bottom line is that presbyopia has a significant negative burden on global productivity, and correction would provide an opposite positive boost, especially in lower-income countries. For example, Africa has only a 6 percent correction rate for presbyopia. Increasing that could tangibly boost the economies of African nations and the well-being of their citizens.

A fundamental way to improve vision health around the world, especially in developing countries, is access to eye care. Research has shown that recommended eye care that targets eye diseases and refractive errors, such as presbyopia, can immediately and cost effectively remedy half of reported vision problems.

The U.S. is not exempt from this issue, as the problem persists here in our affluent country as well. Blurry vision is a bigger problem than just not seeing the TV. Older Americans with moderate or extreme vision loss are more likely to suffer from diabetes, heart disease or stroke than those without vision loss, according to a reporton aging vision from the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion posted on the Vision Impact Institute website. The report, which gathered data from 19 states, also found that those with vision loss are more likely to report fair or poor health — instead of very good or excellent health — than their neighbors with better sight.

So the best step any of us can take to ensure good eye health is to make sure we have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year. And if your eye doctor prescribes glasses (or contact lenses), don’t delay getting them. Through simple and regular steps such as an annual eye exam we can be more productive and improve our quality of life.

Originally posted by huffingtonpost.com
by Maureen Cavanagh

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