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Medicine Technology

Laser Treatment Could Save the Sight of Millions 95

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the i-can-see-clearly-now dept.
BotScout writes "British experts claim that a new laser treatment could save the sight of millions of people. The process is said to stop the onset of age-related macular degeneration, one of the most common forms of blindness, which leaves victims unable to read, drive or live independently. The technique rejuvenates the Bruch's membrane — a thin layer that lies behind the retina. The process takes just ten to 15 minutes and could be done by any ophthalmologist. While it does not cure sight loss, its inventor, Professor John Marshall, says it could prevent a generation from having to put up with declining vision in old age."
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Laser Treatment Could Save the Sight of Millions

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  • Re:Offtopic, but... (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06, 2009 @06:56PM (#28601037)

    I needed about 12 diopters of correction (had myopia and astigmatism), my focal point was about 2" in front of my eyes. After surgery and follow up surgery I have 20/20 in both eyes.

    Paid 3k for both eyes, did it over the end of the year so I could do two healthcare spending accounts (they're capped at 2k). I had one eye done late December and the other early January. Doing that saved me what I would have paid in income tax on that 3k.

    This was with a Dr. here in Irving TX (he advertises a lot). Was a great experience overall. The only side effect is a slight halo's arond light sources if it's dark, but this is only pronounced if my eyes are really dry. But really, my eyesight is better than when I wore toric lenses (about on par with the brief period I used hard lenses)

    Just always do the research first and don't go for the cheapest place (it's your frikkin eyes).

  • by bargainsale (1038112) on Monday July 06, 2009 @07:21PM (#28601297)
    This has been disgracefully overhyped by all the news media that I've seen that have picked it up, often in very similar words, suggesting that the ultimate blame lies with the original press release.

    The fact is that the technique hasn't even been *tried* yet on Macular Degeneration, much less been shown to actually work.

    All that's been done is some studies on a quite different disease for which quite effective treatments already exist.
    The history of efforts to treat Macular Degeneration is full of false hopes, and it is desperately cruel to grieving patients and relatives to put out seriously premature press releases like this. I am an eye surgeon specialising in these conditions and I had to deal with some very upset people because of this only today.

    Prof Marshall is a very eminent figure in the development of laser treatments for eye disease, but if he had much to do with the way this has been presented to the media he should do some hard thinking about his responsibilities.

    There's a brief press release about this on the website of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists (British eye surgeons' professional organisation)
    http://www.rcophth.ac.uk/about/press/ [rcophth.ac.uk]
  • Declining vision (Score:4, Informative)

    by scorp1us (235526) on Monday July 06, 2009 @07:22PM (#28601305) Journal

    Don't believe the fluff. Vision declines for several reasons. First, you'll have general focal point problems. Either myopia, hyperopia, or astigmatism (both at the same time - yes two focal points) those can happen at any age. But around 40, your crystalline lens in your eye begins to stiffen. This is presbyopia. The lens cannot bend and this is a lack of "accommodation". Then this lens as a result of UV exposure degrades and you get cataracts. Then you need lens replacement surgery. This is all before we even get to the back of the eye. Floaters in the various humors. Glaucoma (too much humor pressure distorts and damages the optic nerve) , Then, we can start worrying about the retina and things below...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 06, 2009 @10:18PM (#28602937)

    You can read about several diabetes myths from the American Diabetes Association [diabetes.org]. Notice the third myth is that "Eating too much sugar causes diabetes," which is what I assumed you were referring to. It is a common myth that I have heard several times that deserves to die.

  • by The_mad_linguist (1019680) on Tuesday July 07, 2009 @01:29AM (#28604249)

    People who get their lens replaced can see into the near UV. Apparently the new material doesn't filter out some frequencies.

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