Tech That is Helping Restore Sight
Many technologies are exploring the possibility of reversing blindness or slowing down vision loss. These technologies take a variety of different forms; the ongoing research consists of cell-based solutions, devices, surgical solutions, and tech-based nonsurgical solutions. There is also an emerging number of artificial intelligence and other technologies that are being used and refined to help those with vision impairment.
One of the most breakthrough cell-based technologies is the concept of gene therapy as a method of correcting vision loss for those who have childhood-onset blindness. Gene therapy is the process of replacing any missing or defective genes within cells with healthy, functioning ones. Retinal cell implants are another cell-based technology that specifically targets those with age-related macular degeneration. These cells come from human embryonic stem cells. These cell-based solutions are still in the early stages of implementation but are very promising for the future of sight restoration.
There are quite a few device-based technologies that are working, not only to provide solutions to reverse vision loss but to help those navigate life with impaired vision. Some of these solutions to reverse blindness or vision loss consist of 3D printed eyes, corneal inlays, and possibly bionic eye-brain implants. There are also apps that provide aid to those with blindness, such as Be My Eyes and Seeing AI. IrisVision has even integrated vision assistance with virtual reality, to help with everyday tasks.
Surgical solutions to vision impairment are some of the more common technologies that are available. The most common is Lasik surgery, in which a surgeon reshapes a patient’s cornea with a tiny laser. Other types of surgery are RLE or a clear lens extraction and RK where the cornea is flattened.
Tech-Based Nonsurgical Solutions
One of the most interesting nonsurgical solutions is a Gentle Vision retainer shaping systems. These are lenses that someone would wear while sleeping, similar in style to contact lenses, that slowly and gently reshape the cornea. Eye drops are also being developed to help reverse cataracts.
Technology can take many different forms, and there are developments in all of the facets of it in the quest for vision repair. There is still far to go in this area of development, but exciting things are on the horizon for our eyes!