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Aye, Sight! New Treatment Can Give Legally Blind Perfect Vision!

Dec 15, 2016 06:39 AM EST

It seems the gift of eyesight may be restored, even to the legally blind. A group of researchers have tried removing the jelly-like tissue behind the lens of the eye and replaced it with a saline solution, and it worked.

After operating on 20 patients with Terson syndrome, the vision of patients improved to an average of 20/40 from an average of 20/1290 to, within a few months, astounding 20/20 vision.

According to Futurism, the CDC estimated that in 2010 alone, around 2.5 million emergency room visits or deaths are associated with traumatic brain injury in the U.S. This can lead to severe damage to the patient's vision and even blindness. 

However, unlike before, researchers have discovered that they can actually restore perfect vision in patients, even to the legally blind.

This small study was conducted by researchers at Washington University, Wayne State University, and the L.V. Prasad Eye Institute. Their study, published in Ophthalmology, had included 20 patients who had surgery for Terson syndrome.

This is commonly associated with traumatic injury, such as vehicular collisions, that caused hemorrhaging in both eyes.

The procedure used to "restore" their vision was called vitrectomy. This removes the jelly-like tissue behind the lens and replaces it with a saline solution. The patients were split into groups who had the surgery within three months or the hemorrhage and those who had it after three months.

Interestingly, it appears the method works. A month after the surgery, the patients' vision improved to an average of 20/40 to an average of 20/1290. A few months later, almost all patients had 20/20 vision.

Researchers had noted that the length of time between the injury and the surgery did not factor into how well the patient's sight was improved. This is important because there are often other factors linked to a patient's imminent death that must be stabilized before any eye-related surgeries have to take place.

Rajendra Apte, MD, PhD, at Washington University stated it was important to learn how long they could operate without having a negative effect on vision as this could have effects on just how well they could operate given some patients have other conditions that needed to be addressed. 

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