It’s only a matter of time until people with visual impairments will get a new way to treat their near-sightedness, far-sightedness, astigmatism, or irregular astigmatism. Thanks to the engineers at Columbia University, permanently correcting eye sight will be done through a non-invasive procedure.
Engineers have conducted preclinical models and published their study in the journal Nature Photonics.
Limited Solutions to Correct Vision
Until now, people with near-sighted vision had to use contact lenses or glasses to temporarily fix their vision. Invasive procedures like corrective surgery can also fix eye sight. But in very rare cases it can lead to permanent vision loss. Then there is laser eye surgery, with a high rate of success. However, this intervention can weaken the cornea and lead to other problems.
Sinisa Vukelic is the lead researcher at Columbia University and lecturer at the department of mechanical engineering. He and his team have looked into a new type of laser treatment that will not breakdown the tissue of the cornea:
“This is a fundamental departure from the mainstream ultrafast laser treatment that is currently applied in both research and clinical settings and relies on the optical breakdown of the target materials and subsequent cavitation bubble formation.”
Basically, the laser treatment will use highly repetitive, but low-energy pulses to target the affected area. The method will change the structure of the cornea and it will not affect the tissue. The treatment will be perfect for people that cannot use other corrective treatment because of dry eyes, or thin corneas.
It Can Treat Any Tissue Rich in Collagen
Vukelic also explained that this new technique can be used to treat many other conditions that involve tissues rich in collagen, like osteoarthritis.
The procedure has passed the preclinical model stage. Later this year, the team will start clinical trials to test the effectiveness of the newly discovered treatment.
Rex Austinwas born and raised in Thunder Bay Ontario on the shores of Lake Superior. Apart from running his own podcast (Ice Fishing And Other “Cool” Things), he spends his time canoeing and backpacking in Northern Ontario.. As a journalist Rex has published stories for Global News (Thunder Bay) we well as Buzz Feed and Joystiq. As a contributor to Great Lakes Ledger, Rex most covers science and health stories. Contact Rexhere