More than 285 million people around the world have vision loss and blindness . No matter what the degree, losing some or all of your sight can be emotionally devastating, says Anne Sumers, MD. She’s an eye doctor and a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
“It’s very hard for any individuals to feel like they’re losing their independence, and being able to see is a huge part of that,” she says.
But the good news, Sumers says, is that advances are being made every day in the diagnosis and treatment of various eye diseases.
“This is probably one of the most exciting times in ophthalmology in terms of developing technology that can help people who were once blind be able to see again,” she says.
One advance might make reading glasses a thing of the past. KAMRA, a thin ring inserted in the cornea, improves the vision of people with aging eyes. The device is approved in several countries in Europe, Asia, and South America, and it’s currently under FDA review. It improved near vision in 80% of the people who tested it, but the FDA raised concerns about safety issues, including hazy vision.
Other promising works in progress include advances in drugs, stem cell treatments, and even a bionic eye. Many of these discoveries have been made in the last decade.
Once such area where treatment has come along very quickly is with macular degeneration, a disease that affects nearly 2 million Americans. It causes blindness by damaging part of the retina.
“Prior to 7 years ago, we had no good treatment for macular degeneration,” says Abdhish Bhavsar, MD. He’s a retinal surgeon and spokesman for the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
“Many of these people (with wet macular degeneration) have not only very good vision, they’re still writing, still doing things with their families,” Bhavsar says. “That has changed the entire way we treat this disease.”
Macular degeneration is only one cause of worsening vision, though…..
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Source: Web MD

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