Macular Degeneration Effects Reduced by Brain Stimulation

The University of Waterloo’s School of Optometry found that brain stimulation can assist in recovery of vision in people with macular degeneration. A single 20-minute session of non-invasive visual cortex stimulation resulted in improved effects in macular degeneration patients.

Peripheral vision is relied on heavily by people who suffer from macular degeneration, as they often lose central vision. When attempting to crowd or segregate an object from others in close proximity, further difficulties arise.

Transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) interventions reduce mechanisms in the visual cortex that contribute to crowding. This can improve vision in patients with central vision loss, especially when combined with perceptual learning techniques.

Ben Thompson, professor at the School of Optometry and Vision Science, said, “Perceptual learning can reduce letter crowding for patients with macular degeneration. However, perceptual learning typically requires intensive training, which may be a barrier for patients. Additionally, the learning does not always transfer to non-trained stimuli, that’s why this discovery is so promising, it addresses all of these concerns. Results of this study lay the foundation for future work investigating whether a-tDCS may be useful as a visual rehabilitation tool for individuals with central vision loss who are reliant on peripheral vision.”

Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of vision loss (more than cataracts and glaucoma combined), affecting more than 10 million Americans. It is considered an incurable eye disease caused by the deterioration of the central portion of the retina. The retina is the inside back layer of the eye that records the images we see and sends them to the brain via an optic nerve. The macula, the retina’s central portion, is responsible for focusing central vision in the eye. It also controls our ability to read, drive a car, recognize faces, colors, and see objects in fine detail.

There are three stages of macular degeneration, with vision loss as the last. Despite there being no cure for macular degeneration, activities such as dieting, exercising, avoiding smoking, and protecting your eyes from ultraviolet light are all ways to decrease the overall risk.

For more information regarding the correlation between macular degeneration and brain stimulation, read the original article. Contact the professionals at Rohr Eye & Laser Center to experience personalized ocular care.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.

How to Cope with Mask-Associated Dry Eye (MADE)

With the COVID-19 pandemic among us, expert and government recommendations have prompted mandates for face mask use in addition to social distancing. The use of face masks helps thwart coronavirus transmission. As the world emerges from shutdowns and the season changes from summer to winter, the imposed use of face masks for extended periods will increase.

To combat the spread of COVID-19, these preventative measures are essential. However, a new phenomenon is emerging: increasing reports of dry, uncomfortable eyes. Is there a science behind this trend, who is at risk, and what are the solutions?

Mask-Associated Dry Eye (MADE) was first described in June by an ophthalmologist who noticed an increase of these patients. A study published in July examined the issue further. Existing dry eye disease patients report worsening symptoms. Previously asymptomatic people are now complaining of dry, uncomfortable eyes, accompanied by inconsistent vision. These symptoms seem to occur most when reading or using digital devices for an extended amount of time.

Face masks drastically reduce the outward spread of air from the mouth and nose; however, exhaled breath still needs to diffuse. Masks that fit loosely against the nose cause the airflow to extend upward, forcing a stream of air over the surface of the eye. Those who wear glasses are familiar with this effect, as lens-fogging often occurs when a mask is worn. This repeated cycle can lead to dry eyes when masks are worn for extended periods. People who insert contact lenses daily are especially susceptible to dry eye since the ocular surface is already compromised by the lens.

There are a few ways to alleviate MADE. First, ensure your face mask fits appropriately, especially when wearing glasses. For prolonged use, consider applying athletes’ tape along the top edge and nose area. Consult with your eye care professional and utilize lubricating eye drops. When possible, limit time in air-conditioned, windy, or especially dry environments. Lastly, take regular breaks from digital devices.

To read further, check out the original article or read this manual for tips on how to wear a face mask if you suffer from dry eyes. For a more permanent MADE solution, contact the Rohr Eye & Laser Center to schedule an appointment for laser vision correction today.

Rohr Eye & Laser Center offers the most advanced technology available to provide personalized and extraordinary care to our patients. Whether your goal is to maintain or improve your natural vision, we are here to help you. Call us at 877-579-0202 or visit https://www.michiganlasik.com/ to schedule an appointment today.

Written by the digital marketing staff at Creative Programs & Systems: www.cpsmi.com.