Thursday, September 3, 2009

77 Million Blind People Could Get Their Sight Back

Glaucoma is the major cause of blindness right across the globe. Many millions of people are waiting for a cure. Scientists believe that they are on the verge of developing a new, easy to use treatment, that could potentially give the gift of sight to many of these people.

77 Million Await Glaucoma Cure
Glaucoma is an eye disease which causes higher than normal pressure inside the eyes. The optic nerve is affected and sufferers gradually become blind as damage to the nerve increases. It has been estimated that more than seventy-seven million people across the globe are blind because of glaucoma.(According to the Daily Express Newspaper.)

Glaucoma is the Leading Cause of Blindness

It is a leading cause of blindness; there may be no symptom until the condition starts to affect the optic nerve, and there is no cure for it yet. It can attack anyone from babies to elderly people but elderly people are far more likely to suffer from it. Around one in ten thousand babies in US is born with glaucoma and African Americans are more prone to it at an earlier age.

Have an Optician Check for Glaucoma
When you visit an optician and have your eyes checked you will be given an eye pressure test. This sounds more alarming than it is. You will be asked to keep your eyes open wide while a puff of pressurized air is fired in at the pupil of the eye. This feeds figures regarding pressure to a machine, which gives a pressure reading for your eyeball.

Pay Attention to Raised Pressure in Eyes
The optician will be able to tell if there is any problem. Although this does not sound very pleasant it doesn’t hurt and isn’t even uncomfortable; it just feels a bit strange and might make your eye water a little bit. If you have any sign of raised pressure, the optician will recommend that you have regular check-ups and if the pressure readings are anything more than slightly raised, you will be referred to a specialist to avoid any unnecessary risk.

A New Formula Decreases Eye Pressure in Glaucoma
Scientists have developed a formula which they believe will decrease the pressure inside the eyes and cure glaucoma. There are various medications available which can slow down the disease but these often have severe side effects and are not always successful.

Nerve Growth Factor Reverses Effect of Glaucoma
The new medication contains a ‘nerve growth factor’ which can stop cells from dying and improve eyesight. Trials have been done on a group of people who had a build-up of pressure in their eyes and for whom medication has been totally ineffective.

Is the New Glaucoma Treatment Available?
Results were very encouraging and the pressure was reversed in most cases. Scientist stress that further tests need to be done before the treatment can be prescribed by doctors, but they are confident about their discovery. Improvements have even been discovered in patients who already had severe optic nerve damage and the treatment certainly has the potential to offer a brand new way of preventing visual loss through glaucoma, in the future.

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