29. May 2010 17:28
It appears that wearing contact lenses may have consequences that go beyond medical ones, especially when it comes to children and teenagers. 484 myopic children aged 8 to 11 took part in a recently published study; half of them wore glasses while the other half wore contact lenses (daily contact lenses and 2-week disposable contact lenses).
After the 3-year period of the study, the children were asked several questions concerning their self-perception (how they perceived their appearance, sports skills, academic skills, social acceptance and general self-esteem).
Compared to the children who wore glasses, children wearing contact lenses reached higher scores regarding appearance, sports skills, academic abilities and social acceptance. They showed more self-confidence in these areas. However, their general self-esteem was the same in both groups.
The authors of the study conclude that, when choosing the method of vision correction for children, ophthalmologists and parents should consider their impact on both the child’s eyesight and psyche. Increased self-confidence might have an enormous positive influence on the child in the crucial years of his or her psychological development.
25. May 2010 20:19
A report presented at the 239th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society (ACS) in San Francisco states that vitamin E may be helpful in extending the release of drugs used for the treatment of glaucoma.
The disease is usually treated with eye drops that decrease the abnormally high intraocular pressure that gradually damages the optic nerve, which may eventually lead to permanent blindness. However, it is estimated that only 1 to 5% of medicines contained in eye drops reach the cornea of the eye. The new approach, scientists claim, will increase the time of the presence of the drugs in the eye by as much as 100 times.
Here, vitamin E acts as a kind of barrier for drugs, thus extending their release time and enhancing their effectiveness. Scientists are also examining how vitamin E may facilitate the treatment and prevention of other ophthalmic conditions. The technology is to be used in both daily contact lenses and extended wear lenses (up to a month). Clinical trials are to begin in one to two years.
19. May 2010 16:18
A new study involving daily contact lenses that were made of a substance that blocks UV rays (senofilcon A silicone hydrogel) suggests that people who wear them are protected against the harmful effects of sunlight. These include macular degeneration, cataracts and others.
The results are unambiguous, and the researchers who conducted the study are positive that all eye doctors should recommend UV-blocking contact lenses to their patients. However, they should also be informed that such lenses do not provide a complete protection, as they do not cover the whole eye. Therefore, patients should use them in connection with other protective eyewear.
Cataracts are responsible for 48% of cases of blindness worldwide. The depletion of the ozone layer, the consequence of which is increased UV radiation, is generally thought to increase the incidence of cataracts, already affecting approximately 40% of individuals aged 50 to 60. This, in turn, makes the need for more protection against UV rays extremely important. Hopefully, the results of the study will improve the awareness of the problem.
17. May 2010 17:59
Three patients seem to have regained their eyesight after treatment with the use of special contact lenses. The patients suffered from blindness (or, in the case of one of them, from severe visual impairment) caused by irreparable corneal damage. The treatment consisted in preparing stem cells from material taken from the participants of the trial, culturing them on the surface of the lenses for ten days, and then asking the participants to wear these lenses.
The results were remarkable. Within a single month, the stem cells regenerated the damaged corneas, allowing the two previously blind patients to read texts in large print. The third participant’s eyesight improved so much that he was even able to pass his driving test.
However, the scientists who run the trial remain cautious. They emphasise that it is yet to be seen whether the improvement will be permanent or not. In addition, they point out, the method needs to be tested on a significantly larger number of subjects before it can be considered safe and effective.
Nonetheless, it is uplifting to think that lens not much different from the daily contact lenses that are worn by millions of people worldwide may soon be used to cure blindness.
12. May 2010 14:32
Many contact lens users still do not wear daily contact lenses, but monthly ones. These, however, require following certain lens care rules, failure to comply with which may lead to serious complications. In fact, as much as 80% of all complications that affect contact lens users result from patients’ disregarding the rules or simply forgetting, for instance, to replace lens cases every month.
An invention launched several weeks ago may make those problems become a thing of the past. It is a timer that reminds its users to replace their lenses and lens cases. The device simply counts down to zero and shows appropriate information on its two digital displays.
Children and teens are said to benefit the most from using the invention. More and more of them wear contact lenses, and the device may set their parents’ minds at ease, eliminating the risk of complications and instilling habits necessary for proper contact lens use.
The utility of the device and its affordable price have made it an instant marketing hit.