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Eye and Vision Diseases are at Epidemic Proportions
Date:6/7/2013

Mechanicsburg, PA (PRWEB) June 07, 2013

The Need

Congress has designated 2010-2020 as the “Decade of Vision” to acknowledge the very real public health need and challenge of vision loss. (H. Res. 366 and S. Res. 209) Over 78 million Baby Boomers will be turning 65 over the next decade and will be at risk for age-related eye diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and cataracts.

How Does Research Save Lives

In recent years research has uncovered major biochemical breakthroughs that may lead to future treatments for some of the most common causes of vision impairment.

  •     Researchers have been able to identify gene variations associated with age-related macular degeneration (Results posted online from Nature Genetics);
  •     Omega-3 fatty acids have been suggested to prevent or decrease severity of retinopathy of prematurity by protecting against abnormal blood vessel growth (Study, led by Lois Smith, M.D., Ph.D., professor of ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School, Children’s Hospital Boston);
  •     Studies have demonstrated that nutritional supplements such as zinc and antioxidant vitamins can reduce vision loss in people at high risk of developing advance AMD (Nationwide clinical trial; reported in the October 2001 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology) and;
  •     Research has demonstrated that pressure-reducing eye drops can delay or prevent the onset of glaucoma (June 2002 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology).

Research has also allowed for the first implantable device to treat advanced retinitis pigmentosa to be available at several clinical centers across the U.S. later this year. The system took more than 15 years to develop and test. It uses a video camera attached to a pair of eyeglasses to
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