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Countering Eyesight Loss in Old Age

Updated: Apr 28, 2022

With the greying of America, come the issues of age-related vision problems occurring, but more recent advances in ocular science research are promising.

University of Southern California (USC) researchers are now experimenting with ultrasound waves.

Qifa Zhou, a USC professor of biomedical engineering and ophthalmology, is among the lead researchers who believe that ultrasound stimulation could be a game changer.

It proposed ultrasound waves be delivered through a wearable device that can send waves to the retina. Their theory considered the eventuality of eventually delivering this impact via contact lenses.

Current testing is being conducted on laboratory rats, stimulating their eyes and projecting images and patterns. Researchers have been measuring activity in the visual cortex of the brain.

Ultrasounds are commonplace in hospitals. Outside of its most known use in emergency rooms and obstetrics offices, ultrasound waves can treat type-2 diabetes and assist in waking coma patients.

Finding a new use, for a previously existing technology is innovation at its finest.

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is caused by an interplay of genetic and environmental factors. However, as its name suggests, being over the age of 55 increases the likelihood of AMD exponentially.

Age related macular degeneration is one of the leading causes of blindness in industrialized countries. Worldwide the number of people with AMD was 196 million in 2020, a number expected rise to 288 million over the next 20 years, according to the National Institutes of Health.

With this new technology, hopefully we no longer will have such "Tired Eyes" like in Neil Young's classic song.

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