Declining Eyesight Improved with Red Light Therapy

A novel study by researchers at UCL found that three minutes of exposure to deep red light once a week can vastly improve deteriorating eyesight.

The study, published in Scientific Reports, outlines how using longwave deep red light in the morning activated mitochondria cells in the human retina, repairing declining vision. Previous studies focused on higher energy levels and different times of the day to perform the therapy.

Overall, researchers discovered an average of 17 percent improvement in color contrast vision when exposed to three minutes of deep red light in the morning, which lasted at least a week. The same test, performed in the afternoon, showed no vision improvement.

Researchers’ findings exhibit a breakthrough for eye health which could lead to more affordable home-based therapies. Millions of people suffer worldwide from naturally declining vision, which could be improved with just three minutes of red light therapy every morning.

Professor Glen Jeffery, UCL Institute of Ophthalmology, lead author, said, “We demonstrate that one single exposure to longwave deep red light in the morning can significantly improve declining vision, which is a major health and wellbeing issue, affecting millions of people globally. This simple intervention applied at the population level would significantly impact on quality of life as people age and would likely result in reduced social costs that arise from problems associated with reduced vision.”

Working with Planet Lighting UK, Jeffery aims to produce 670nm infrared eyewear at an affordable price; other LED devices made specifically for the same purpose can cost more than $20,000.

Jeffery said, “The technology is simple and very safe; the energy delivered by 670nm long wave light is not that much greater than that found in natural environmental light. Given its simplicity, I am confident an easy-to-use device can be made available at an affordable cost to the general public. In the near future, a once a week three-minute exposure to deep red light could be done while making a coffee, or on the commute listening to a podcast, and such a simple addition could transform eye care and vision around the world.”

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.

New Changes in FSA Make LASIK More Affordable

A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is tax-exempt money you can set aside from your paycheck to pay out-of-pocket expenses. Throughout the year, the level you contribute is consistent and even. The maximum amount you can contribute in 2021 is $2,750.

If you have been considering getting LASIK, your FSA could be used to cover the cost. Recent legislation has made it possible for employers to extend the deadline for all 2021 FSA spending. Thanks to this new extension, employees can use their FSA to pay for LASIK.

There are a few limitations when it comes to FSAs, including:

  • Pretax funds can only be spent on qualified health and medical expenses
  • The current limit that can be used in an FSA account is $2,750
  • Any remaining cash in the FSA after December 31 is forfeited – all funds must be used within the calendar year
  • Grace periods and the ability to carry over a portion of the funds do exist

FSA was limited due to the global coronavirus pandemic, making spending a challenge. The 2021 FSA deadlines were extended to compensate for this pause in healthcare. Now, the entire amount of FSA can be carried through December 31, 2022.

To use your FSA to pay for LASIK, contact your employer’s HR department to determine whether they have opted to implement the flexible deadlines. Check your balance to calculate how much money you will have available. Schedule a consultation ASAP, and soon enough, you can sigh in relief…no more glasses or contacts after LASIK!

Thinking about LASIK? There’s no better time to achieve your dreams! Contact Rohr Eye & Laser Center today to get started.

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.

New Nerve Cell Discovered in Retina

A new type of neuron, or nerve cell, has been discovered in the retina by scientists at the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah.

A complex group of neurons communicate with each other in the central nervous system, relaying sensory and motor information. These interneurons are an essential aspect of communication. This finding marks a breakthrough for scientists who are working toward a better understanding of the central nervous system. By identifying and classifying all neurons, researchers can more easily distinguish between different aspects.

A research team led by Ning Tian, Ph.D., identified the interneuron in the mammalian retina. Tian said, “Based on its morphology, physiology, and genetic properties, this cell doesn’t fit into the five classes of retinal neurons first identified more than 100 years ago. We propose they might belong to a new retinal neuron class by themselves.”

The new neuron is dubbed Campana after a handbell, resembling its shape. Campana cells are able to transmit visual signals in the retina, but the exact function is yet to be determined.

Tian said, “In the brain, persistent firing cells are believed to be involved in memory and learning. Since Campana cells have a similar behavior, we theorize they could play a role in prompting a temporal ‘memory’ of a recent situation.”

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.

Blind Woman Sees Shapes Thanks to Scientists

A team of researchers from the University Miguel Hernandez (Spain), the Netherlands Institute of Neuroscience (Netherlands), and the John A. Moran Eye Center at the University of Utah (USA) recently published details about how they were able to successfully restore vision in a woman using a brain implant.

The scientists oversaw a series of tests with the blind volunteer to eventually recreate her vision. First, a neurosurgeon implanted a microelectrode array into her visual cortex, which was composed of 100 microneedles intended to stimulate neurons near the electrodes. The woman wore eyeglasses outfitted with a mini video camera which translated the data collected and sent to the brains electrodes. Finally, the brain simulated the image by surrounding neurons to produce white areas of light known as “phosphenes.”

A former science teacher, the woman had been blind for 16 years. No complications were seen post-op, and scientists concluded the implant did not affect brain function. 

Lines, shapes, and letters were visible to the blind woman. The researchers developed a game to help her strengthen and recognize the different phosphene shapes. Because of her extensive involvement and unique insight, the woman became a co-author of the study.

Professor Eduardo Fernandez said, “These results are very exciting because they demonstrate both safety and efficacy and could help to achieve a long-held dream of many scientists, which is the transfer information from the outside world directly to the visual cortex of blind individuals, thereby restoring a rudimentary form of sight. Although these preliminary results are very encouraging, we should be aware that there are still a number of important unanswered questions and that many problems have to be solved before a cortical visual prosthesis can be considered a viable clinical therapy.”

Professor R. A. Normann, a study co-author, said, “It could allow them to identify a person, doorways, or cars. It could increase independence and safety. That’s what we’re working toward.”

Professor P. Roelfsema, a co-author in the study, said, “This new study provides proof-of-principle and demonstrates that our previous findings in monkey experiments can be translated to humans. This work is likely to become a milestone for the development of new technologies that could transform the treatment of blindness.”

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.

Research Proves LASIK Adverse Events are Rare

Ophthalmology is a scientific field that is continuously performing research and studies based on the human eye. LASIK eye surgery is an imperative aspect of ophthalmology that presents patients with more benefits than risks.

A recent study published in the American Journal of Ophthalmology outlined researchers’ data analysis from roughly 37,000 laser vision correction patients who underwent either LASIK (31,921) or PRK (5,016) between July 2014 and June 2016. Data analyzed included eye examinations prior to the surgery, procedure reports, and follow-up exams.

Data on adverse events were also recorded, such as those that negatively impacted patients’ visual outcomes. Out of 37,000 patients, 34 experienced adverse side effects; 70 percent were characterized as severe. With less than one percent of patients experiencing a significant unfavorable result, each procedure showed:

  • LASIK (31,921 patients): 0.4 percent of patients experienced unfavorable results
  • PRK (5,016 patients): 0.7 percent of patients experienced unfavorable results

Of those with serious adverse effects, roughly 80 percent still achieved 20/20 (or higher) vision without glasses or contacts.

With over 20 million procedures performed throughout the United States over 20 years, research papers number greater than 7,000. Experts study vision correction effects in-depth to ensure they are safe and effective for patients. Based on the large number of patients country-wide, LASIK and PRK are excellent, viable options to improve vision for suitable candidates. 

To improve your vision through LASIK, contact the ophthalmology experts at Rohr Eye & Laser Center 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.

Glaucoma Patients See Clearer with Quantum-Dot LEDs

A study published in BMC Ophthalmology showed certain lights are better than others for people with glaucoma. Researchers in South Korea monitored visual acuity, black-and-white contrast sensitivity, and color vision tests on 36 glaucoma patients. The study subjects were situated under three different lights, all displaying various color wavelengths: a three-band fluorescent lamp, a white LED, and a quantum-dot LED. The luminescence was set to the same brightness on all lights.

Visual acuity or black-and-white contrast sensitivity did not change among the three lights; however, patients under quantum-dot LEDs were able to distinguish color better than under the other lights.

According to the researchers, “This finding is very important for glaucoma patients because it is strongly associated with vision-related quality of life in glaucoma patients. Thus, a more high-quality light system could increase the ability of color distinction and may increase quality of life in glaucoma patients because the relationship between ability of color distinction and quality of life has been closed.”

Previous studies showed that glaucoma patients have a lower quality of life because of visual impairment.

Glaucoma patients who take multiple antiglaucoma pharmaceuticals could also benefit from quantum-dot LEDs, as the most commonly-used method for distinguishing the different drugs is bottle cap color.

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.

Blind People Could See Again Thanks to Novel Technology

One of the greatest challenges for scientists remains making blind people see again. Diego Ghezzi, Medtronic Chair in Neuroengineering (LNE) at EPFL’s School of Engineering, has been studying and developing technology to help blind people see. A retinal implant they created works with camera-equipped smart glasses and a microcomputer to form artificial vision.

Ghezzi said, “Our system is designed to give blind people a form of artificial vision by using electrodes to stimulate their retrial cells.”

The camera embedded within the smart glasses records images through the perspective of the wearer’s vision. This information is then transferred to a microcomputer placed in one of the eyeglasses’ end pieces. Light signals are created by the microcomputer and transmitted to electrodes in the retinal implant. When a person wears the glasses, they see a simplified, black-and-white version of the landscape in front of them. When the retinal cells are stimulated, dots and light appear in a simplified way. However, wearers will have to interpret multiple dots of light to decipher shapes and objects.

“It’s like when you look at stars in the night sky – you can learn to recognize specific constellations. Blind patients would see something similar with our system,” said Ghezzi.

The technology has yet to be tested on humans, as the research team needs to be certain of their results first. The engineers developed a reality program that enables patients to see implants in a virtual setting.

Are you looking to improve your vision without glasses or contacts? Contact the eye experts at Rohr Eye & Laser Center 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.

Myopia (Short-Sightedness) Linked to Poor Sleep

Research from Flinders University in Australia suggests people with myopia (short-sightedness) experience poorer sleep quality than those with normal vision. The study found that people with myopia have more delayed circadian rhythms and reduced melatonin production (a hormone responsible for regulating sleep) compared to people with normal vision. Myopia results in the inability to see objects at a distance. People affected can only clearly see things up close.

Dr. Ranjay Chakraborty, optometrist from the Flinders University Caring Futures Institute, said the study adds to the growing evidence of the potential association between disruption of the circadian rhythm and myopia development. “Disruptions in circadian rhythms and sleep due to the advent of artificial light and the use of light-emitting electronic devices for reading and entertainment has become a recognized health concern in several fields, but its impact on eye health has not been studied extensively. These findings provide important evidence that optimal sleep and circadian rhythms are not only essential for general health, but also for good vision,” Chakraborty said.

Levels of melatonin were measured in participants through saliva and urine samples. In the study, the circadian timing and production of melatonin were measured in both people with myopia and those with normal sight. Melatonin is secreted in our brains soon after dark, peaking around 2 to 4 a.m.

Myopia is the most common vision disorder and, in severe cases, can lead to several blinding diseases in adulthood, such as retinal tear and detachment, glaucoma, or cataracts. Road signs and other long-distance objects are generally difficult for people with myopia to read.

“Because myopia typically develops during childhood, as a next step, we would like to examine circadian rhythm training, total production of melatonin sleep and light exposure at night in young children – the actual target population for myopia prevention,” said Dr. Chakraborty.

“Such a study will provide novel insights into the biological and environmental factors underlying myopia, which will aid in early diagnosis and treatment of myopia in children,” Dr. Chakraborty said.

Myopia doesn’t have to hold you back – talk to the eyecare experts at Rohr Eye & Laser Center 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.

The Eyes Are a Window into the Soul – and Alzheimer’s Disease

A new study shows that the eyes are telltale signs for understanding diseases of the brain. Scientists at the UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences found that retinal scans can distinguish vital changes in blood vessels that might provide an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease. These scans provide insight into how one of the most common Alzheimer’s risk genes (APOE4) gives way to the disease.

Fanny Elahi, MD, Ph.D., assistant professor of neurology, member of the UCSF Memory and Aging Center (MAC) and lead author of the study, said, “The most prevalent genetic risk for Alzheimer’s disease is a variant of the APOE gene, known as APOE4. We still don’t fully understand how this variant increases risk of brain degeneration, we just know that it does, and that this risk is modified by sex, race, and lifestyle. Our research provides new insights into how APOE4 impacts blood vessels and may provide a path forward for early detection of neurodegenerative disease.”

The effects of APOE4 capillaries in the brain have been studied in mice. Elahi has long suspected these tiny blood vessels might play a crucial role in Alzheimer’s disease due to their important functions through the blood-brain barrier, such as delivering nutrients and oxygen, ridding the body of waste, and monitoring immune system responses. Elahi says damage to these blood vessels could lead to multiple issues, including the protein buildup and cognitive decline seen in Alzheimer’s patients. Since we cannot  visualize individual capillaries in living peoples’ brains, Elahi focused on the eyes instead.

Through a non-invasive eye scan, APOE4-associated capillary changes were detected in humans. Light-penetrating tissue shares biology with the brain, so researchers believe the retina might help establish APOE4 variants and how similar capillaries inside the brain are affected.

After analyzing the retinal scans, a reduced capillary density in APOE4 carriers was found, signifying an effect that increased with age. The team also compared the abnormalities found in the retinal scans to brain perfusion and found that people with higher density retinal capillary density also had greater brain blood flow.

Elahi said, “This is the first time that we have demonstrated in living, asymptomatic humans that the smallest blood vessels are affected in APOE4 gene carriers. That’s important because it suggests that the increased risk of brain degeneration and Alzheimer’s disease in APOE4 carriers might be through its effect on blood vessels. This is just the beginning. But the implications for early detection and possible intervention can be significant in combatting Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative disorders. It’s much harder to regenerate neurons than to stop their degeneration from happening in the first place. Similar to cancer, early detection can save lives.”

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.

Hand Sanitizer Causes Eye Burns in Children

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers have become all the rage during the COVID-19 pandemic. The availability has sky-rocketed, and dispensers are available everywhere. Many adults are aware to not touch their eyes after rubbing the sanitizer throughout their hands, but children typically rub their eyes frequently. Some hand sanitizer automatic dispensers are almost eye-level with kids, which sometimes causes them to accidentally spray directly into their young eyes.

The chemical makeup of hand sanitizer can be moderately damaging to the ocular surface due to the elevated alcohol content. Ethanol causes severe discomfort and can kill corneal cells, sometimes requiring a corneal transplant.

A team of researchers using data from the French Poison Control Center (PCC) found a sevenfold increase in French reports of ocular hand sanitizer accidents in children from the same period in 2019.

From May 2020 to August 2020, the number of hand sanitizer eye exposures in public places increased from 14.4 percent to 52.4 percent. In 2020, a total of 16 children were hospitalized. Ten boys had a mean age of three-and-a-half years in 2020, while one 16-month-old boy was admitted in 2019.

Total hand sanitizer incidents in 2020:

  • 16 children were admitted to the hospital
  • Eight children developed a corneal or conjunctival ulcer
  • Six patients’ corneal ulcers involved over 50 percent of the corneal surface
  • Two children required amniotic membrane transplants

Hand sanitization and disinfection are crucial for public health. However, these findings insinuate health authorities need to ensure hand sanitizer stations are being used properly. The public should be warned about proper usage and safety concerning young children and the dangers of hand sanitizer.

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.