Sunday, March 13, 2016

Related imageOne of the most precious things you are born with is your eyesight yet most of us take it for granted. Without our ability to see our lives would be dramatically different even if we were wealthy and were able to have assistants at our beck and call. Even with all our advancements in science we still cannot grow new eyes in a test tube. However, there have been recent advancements that are changing lives daily now. Cutting edge technology and a revolution in new cost efficient materials have brought new advancements in treating blindness.
The white substance clouding an eye is called a cataract that can cause blindness. New advancements have made it easy to get rid of the cloudy substance and insert a clear protective lens within minutes. There are no stiches needed anymore. This is amazing. Around 19 million people in the world are blind because of cataracts. The number is disproportionately higher in developing countries. In Ethiopia if you become blind your life is pretty much over and forced to spend your life rejected by family and forced to beg for money. No braille or disability or welfare there. An organization called the Himalayan Cataract Project   is providing new lives for these unfortunate people. ISIS should welcome the scientific advances we offer to poor people in Africa and the Middle East.
The organization is working tirelessly to eradicate blindness in these developing countries. Blindness can become a social problem a human suffering problem and might as well be a death sentence. Dr. Matt Oliver is changing lives for the better in record numbers. Having your sight back means that you are independent and not a burden to anyone. Now all the supplies for one case costs under $20 dollars. While he is scraping and lensing the staff is prepping patients. For each eye the surgery can be as fast as 5 minutes. He is able to do about 70 surgeries per day, every day. Doctor Oliver is just one of four Doctors serving over 700 patients over the span of one week. The recovery time is quick. Less than 24 hours. His favorite time of day is when he can take the bandages off 200 people at a time and to experience the happiness of those poor people who can see again. Some of the people have been blind for 10 or 15 year.
Humanity is worth saving no matter where they may live.  The low cost surgical equipment developed now can also give sight to other eye illnesses. A progressive condition called Retinal Pimentos can leave someone completely blind. When you can’t recognize faces any longer you are considered legally blind. Life can be very challenging. The FDA has just approved a retinal implant made by Second Sight Products Inc. Sylmar, California. Dr. Robert Greenberg is the Chairman of the company who manufactures the new device whose objective is to restore shadows with an implant and eyeglasses that go into a device that signals objects in the form of shadows into the implant. Shadows would at least prevent a totally blind person from walking into things.
The device replaces photo receptors back to your brain.  Seeing a crude black and white TV image is better than seeing n images. The devices are implanted in John’s Hopkins Hospital. It is amazing that a tiny piece of plastic implanted in the eye can give the gift of sight. They will wait about a month to turn the device on and then the challenge of learning to see again must be addressed. This is just the early stages of the technology but at least it is available to all Expectations are important since it is still crude vision.

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