The Future of Eye Care Looks Bright
Happy 2023! Remember when 2023 sounded futuristic? Old movies depicted this as the year with flying cars, robots and all things bionic. Well the future is here. Though we aren’t seeing flying cars, we are seeing self-driving ones, and though not every home is equipped with a house robot, most of us do own an Alexa. These innovations, while not quite what movies once depicted, are happening every day and now they are being used to prevent, and treat eye diseases and in some cases even reverse blindness. Sound futuristic? It is.
Read on to learn about innovative advancements to help prevent, correct and treat eye diseases and vision problems.
Detection and Prevention. Vision Apps. There’s an app for that.
No really there is. There are apps that use AI to help detect signs of early vision problems. Though we aren’t advising self-diagnosis, using an app can be helpful if you live in remote areas without access to a toronto area eye doctor. If an issue is detected you can send those findings to an eye doctor for further assessment. The other benefit to an app is that often eye issues aren’t symptomatic initially and many people don’t seek care until vision loss has occurred. By that time it may be too late to reverse it. New technologies could get more people to an ophthalmologist sooner and could aid in diagnosis and treatment.
How it works: AI-based systems are trained with many pictures of the eye and the algorithms learn the difference between normal image and abnormal images. Using your phone you can scan your eye and the app/AI can alert you if they detect abnormalities.
Bottom line: AI based vision apps may be the future when it comes to early detection. An optometrist looks at the whole picture of your eyes and your health and can help interpret AI findings, and suggest further testing and treatment.
Vision Correction. 3D Printed Digital Contact Lenses. These aren’t your grandmother’s contacts.
Contact lenses have come a long way from the hard unbendable glass lenses of the past. Future contact lenses may offer even more in terms of comfort as 3D printers are now being used to make the thinnest contacts ever (less than one mm thick) to house a microchip and incorporate digital technology. The user will be able to access a screen through the contact lenses much like looking at a computer screen but without the computer.
This technology currently being developed by Google was originally slated for release in 2020, according to Humanitas University. Due to setbacks — also known as a pandemic — the release was delayed. These lenses work with smart technology to scan your health providing vital information about glucose levels. Having up to the minute health information may help prevent diabetes and diabetic retinopathy.
Vision Restoration. Bionics for Blindness. Seeing the future, for the first time.
The most exciting developments in vision care are those that can restore lost vision, something that was thought to be impossible until now. Bionic implants and artificial retinas are created and implanted to replace the damaged retina. Prosthetic implants have recently seen success in Europe to restore sight to blind patients suffering from retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration. They can’t fully restore detailed vision, but it can help formerly blind patients to regain some sight.
There are gene therapies that may work to correct vision loss from age-related decline in AMD as well as inherited diseases. Initial trials are promising and may be part of treatment plans to restore vision and prevent vision loss in the near future.
The Future Looks Bright
Advancements in eye care are being made every day. Your eye doctor can use the latest techniques to help diagnose, treat and prevent future eye issues so you can avoid vision loss in the first place. The future looks bright. Take care of your eyesight and have routine eye exams to help ensure you’ll be able to see it clearly.