There are lots of things you can do to prevent vision loss, but what can be done to reverse vision loss once it has started? Unfortunately there are no proven home remedies for curing vision loss, but medical science is working on some pretty cool stuff. Most of these are still in trials, but they are quite promising and it may only be a matter of years or months before they become available and widespread.
4) Bionic Lenses
We’ll start with the cool ones. A company in British Columbia claims to have created a bionic lens that can give its wearer better than 20/20 vision. The lens is inserted under the cornea exactly like non-invasive cataract surgery but it supposedly lasts for life and enhances vision beyond that of a normal human eye. Little more is known about the much-hyped bionic lens, as the technology is still in trials with several patents out and the company is being very secretive about exactly how it works until everything is finalized. If it does work out, the lens could be the first major bionic human enhancement in history.
3) Retinal Prosthesis
Californian company Second Sight has developed a device that can return partial sight to completely blind individuals and has already successfully implanted it in a few people. It works like this: The patient has a small device surgically implanted in the eye near the optic nerve. The patient then wears a pair of glasses with a camera in them. The camera takes in visual information and feeds it to the implant which sends signals to the brain to be interpreted as visual information. Unlike the bionic lens which seems to be for replacing a damaged cornea, Second Sight’s invention can help people whose vision problems stem from damaged rods and cones. The device can’t return full vision, so people who use it don’t see the world like Robocop or the Terminator, but they do see a very pixelated image which allows them to make out simple shapes. This may not seem like much, but for an otherwise non-sighted person it means telling the difference between night and day and knowing if the object coming towards you is a human or a dog.
2) Stem Cell Therapy
Researchers have been working with stem cells in an attempt to regenerate damaged retinas. Using embryonic stem cells, umbilical cord blood stem cells, and stem cells from bone marrow, scientists hope to regenerate damaged retina tissue and fight back against age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
1) Cholesterol medication
You read that correctly, cholesterol medication. Recent research has shown that a buildup of cholesterol behind the retina may be a cause of AMD. In one study, participants who were given a cholesterol lowering drug saw improvements in their vision. Interestingly, taking steps to lower your cholesterol via changes to your diet will not help remove any cholesterol buildup in the eyes because most of the cholesterol in the brain and eyes is synthesized on site rather than received through the bloodstream.
Prevention is the best medicine but when prevention fails, it’s medicine to the rescue! These are just a few of the amazing advancements that medical science is bringing us. As our knowledge of the human body and the world around us continues to grow, the marvels can only get bigger. But that doesn’t mean you should stop taking care of your eyes! Check out our tips for keeping your eyes healthy and you may never need the help of medical advancements.