Tooth implanted in eye helps granny see again
Process Suits People Whose Body Rejects Transplants
A 60-years-old US grandmother, blind for nearly a decade, has recovered her sight after surgeons implanted a tooth in her eye as a base to hold a tiny plastic lens, her doctors said.
Sharron "Kay" Thornton, from the US state of Mississippi, lost her sight in 2000 when she came down with a case of Stevens-Johnson syndrome, a rare disease that scarred her cornea, according to the University of Miami's Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.
For patients whose bodies reject a transplanted or artificial cornea,
this procedure "implants the patient's tooth in the eye to anchor a prosthetic lens and restore vision", said Thornton's surgeon Victor Perez.
In the procedure-which was pioneered in Italy but was a first in the US- the medical team extracted Thornton's canine or "eyetooth"
and surrounding bone, shaved and sculpted it, and drilled a hole into it to insert an optical cylinder lens.
"We take sight for granted, not realizing that it can be lost at any momen," the grateful patient said."This truly is a miracle."
The tooth and the lens were implanted under the patient's skin in the cheek or shoulder for two months so they could bond, then they were carefully implanted in the center of the eye after a series of procedures to prepare the socket.
The tooth and the lens were implanted under the patient's skin in the cheek or shoulder for two months so they could bond, then they were carefully implanted in the center of the eye after a series of procedures to prepare the socket.
"A hole is made in the mucosa for the prosthetic lens, which protrudes slightly from the eye and enables light to re-enter the eye allowing the patient to see once again," read an Eye Institute statement. Following a series of operations, medical personnel removed the bandages from Thornton's eyes two weeks ago. She was able to recognize objects and faces a few hours later, and two weeks later she was able to read newspapers, the Eye Institute said.
Chip gives vision to blind
Researchers have worked out a way to link a miniature video camera electronically with the retina of a blind person; the next steps will be to make the image sharper.
Perfect vision, at a blink
- 1) Small video cameramounted in pair of sunglasses sends image through wire in glasses frame
- 2) Wire leadsto walletsize processor worn on belt or around neck
- 3) Singal sentback through wire to radio transmitter
- 4) Radio signal goes to electrodes tied to nerves in retina;image goes on to brain's visual center
ALEXANDRA HAWLEY longed to wate up one morning and be able to see clearly. "I wanted to see the alarm clock without groping for glasses," she says.Hawley has minus eight vision in both eyes, which means she cannot see beyond the end of her nose unaided. As a child, she wore thick, bottle-top glasses until she persuaded her parents to buy her expensive spectacles with thinner lenses. From the age of 15, she was "addicted" to contact lenses."I wore them from 7 a.m. until 11 p.m. and sometimes until the early hours-not good for the health of my eyes." Laser eye surgery was deemed unsuitable for her as there was the risk of dangerousl thinning her corneas. Then she heard that surgeons at the choosen Eye Clinic in Manchester were importing permanent contact lenses that are so thin and flexible that they behave like natural tissue.
Deepak Chitkara, an ophthalmic s
urgeon and the joint medical director of the clinic, explains:"A tiny incision is made in the cornea
and the surgeon'unfurls' the lens, which is coiled up in a little tube over the pupil."
At first, Hawley, 23, was nervous. "But I checked it out: the results in America and here were good. And, if it did not workout, the implanted lenses could be removed."The operation earlier this year was a success.
"In effect, I have perfect, 20/20 vision," says Hawley, who works in London for the BBC."For a while, my eyes felt sore and gritty and I was advised not to get water in them for six weeks to avoid infection. Now I can go in the sea, anything."
Internal contact lenses cost £5,200.
"This procedure is about as dramatic as to come,"says Emanuel Rosen, founder of the Rosen clinic and clinical director of Boots Laser Eye Clinics. Invention and technology are moving ahead so fast that millions of people who now wear glasses could soon be able to exchange them for a wide range of treatments.
One "holy grail" for eye specialists, says Rosen, is finding a way to counter the eye's biological clock. As many as 18 million people over the age of 40 in Britain wear reading glasses-and long to throw them away. The technique has been carried out on several hundred patients in America, and involves getting more life out of ageing natural lenses."I place four tiny plastic sents, about the size of rice grains into the cornea," says Chitkara."They compress the cornea slightly, and enable the muscles that hold the lens in place to work more efficiently."So far, only 14 patients have been treated in this country. No stitches are required for the procedure, which takes about 45 minutes and costs £3,200.
Christopher Brett Price, 57, a builder, has not used his reading glasses since having stents inserted six weeks ago."Before, I had to put on my reading specs every time I measured something on site. If it rained, they would steam up. If I put them round my neck, they could get trapped or crushed."
Only one eye is treated , says Chitkara. "The brain is amazingly adaptable and soon, the other eye compensates."The aim is similar to, but potentially more successful than, juggling contact lenses of diffferent strengths in each eye or wearing bifocal lenses.
In another approach, the surgeon beams radio waves into the eye.It has just been introduced in Britain by Ultralase clincs, which also carry out Lasik laser surgery to correct short and long sight and astigmatism
. The surgeon places a tiny probe at different points around the edge of the cornea and passes radio waves through it. These heart tiny collagen fibres and slightly tighten the cornea.
"It is like an invisible belt, which brings close-up images back into focus',says Jean-Pierre Danjoux, ophthalmic surgeon and Ultralase chief medical adviser."Intime, though, the procedure may have to be repeated."
Carmen Morataya, 47, had the teatment two weeks ago and says: "Now , I have my perfect vision back." Twoo years ago, she found her close vision deteriorating.
She worked in the oil industry and had to wear reading spectacles to inspect technical reports and equipment."I was always breaking them, and hated wearing them. Only one eye, my dominant right eye, was done. It was a bit blurry at first, but cleared up."Following an assessment, the treatment takes five minutes and costs £1,150.
For severely long-sighted people, who may also have serious close-vision problems, a hinged, artificial lens could provide a solution."The hinge allows the lens to adjust to near and far vision,:says Rosen, who has performed a dozen such operations here. In America, surgeons have implanted several hundred.
Laser eye surgery to correct moderate, long or short sight and astigmatism grew in popularity in the 1990s. Ultralase clinics have carried out 70,000 such operations since 1995. But earlier this year, an American specialist reported that Lasik laser surgery could cause double vision. Rosen says:"This is rare and should not be a problem if people are properly evaluated."A lazy eye or other eye muscle problems could, however, put people at a greater risk of unsuccessful surgery.
The future might lie with customised and more effective laser surgery. One technique involves firing a light into the eye and analysing the light waves as they are reflected back."This provides unique maps of minute imperfections in the eye. We can adapt the laser surgery to take account of these,"says Rosen. Wavefront guided laser treatment, as it is called, is now available in Ultralase clinics.
"It could improve vision for some people in dim light and when driving at night,"says Christopher Neave, Wavefront's chief executive.
For people who opt to continue waring contact lenses, a new option is the Ciba Vision Night and Day extended wear lenses, which can be worn safely for up to 30 days and enables up to six times more oxygen to reach the eye than standard lenses.
So could the future be spectacle-free? Rosen is loth to commit: "It is question of evolution, not revolution."
The Sight Spectrum
This is defined as 20/20. Light from an object, near or far, focuses on the retina very precisely.
Myopia or short sight:
Due to the shape of the eyeball, light from ojects focuses in front of the retina. Minus 1 to 3 is mild myopia; more than minus 6 is severe. Those with myopia usually read without glasses or lenses. Minus lenses bring vision back to 20/20.
Hyperopia or long sight:
Light focuses behind the retina and a plus lens is required to correct vision. Very long-sighted people have poor close vision.
Defects in the eye create two focusing points in the eye and a distortion and blurring of vision. It is measured in dioptres. A mild case ranges up to 1.5 dioptres.
As the eye ages, the crystalline lens in the eye thickens, stiffens and reacts poorly to near and far vision. This begines to affect people int he early to mid-forties and cannot be prevented.
Guide to a happy & healthy you
If you are looking for ways to beat stress, Time magazine has a few suggestions.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
Write down five things you are greateful for and see your happiness quotient go up, says Sonja Lyubomirsky, an experimental psychologist.
HEAR THE MUSIC
When older people undergoing eye surgery listened to their choice of music, they had significantly lower heart rates and blood pressure, claims a study.
SNOG, CANOODLE, GET IT ON
That roll in the hay helps in releasing oxytocin or hormone of love, associated with feelings of bonding and trust. It's also known to reduce stress.
NURTURE YOUR SPIRITUALITY
David Myers, a social psychologist at Michigan's Hope college, says that faith provides social support, a sense of purpose and a reason to focus beyond the self, ll of which help root people in their communities.
MAKE MORE MONEY THAN YOUR PEERS
Money can bring happiness especially when you make more than people in your age group, says a socialogical study done in 2005 by researches at Pennsylvania State University.
SEEK POSITIVE EMOTION AS A PATH TO SUCCESS
A team of psychologists concluded that happiness is often a result of positive emotions.
IDENTIFY WITH YOUR HERITAGE
A recent study showed that adolescents of Mexican and Chinese ethnicity maintained feelings of happiness despite daily stress when they had a strong sense of cultural identity.
USE A HAPPY MEMORY AS A GUIDE
Scanning your memory bank and using material for reinventing yourself can be a key to happiness, say Barbara Becker-Holstein, psychologist and author of Enchanted Self: A Postive Therapy.
PLAY THE PART OF AN OPTIMIST
"Positive thoughts and behaviour have a positive impact on the brain's biochemistry," says psychologist Mary Anna Troiani."[They] boost your serotonin levels and signal that you're happy..."
TELL YOUR STORY TO SOMEONE
Walker says that storytelling works best when there is a lot of auidence diversity-it helps to tell the story many times to a variety of people.
BE LIKE THE DANES: KEEP EXPECTATIONS REALISTIC
Researchers in the British Medical Journal decoded the Danes' victory in the 1992 European Football Championship has kept them in a state of euphoria since; and the nation, while satisfied, has show low expectations for the coming year.
Many psychologists ask people to imagine or picture what they would like in their life, creating a mental state that makes the person think that it is achievable."If you experience that visualistation with your eyes closed, your mind doesn't known if it's real or unreal,"says Troiani.
Research done by an economist at the University of Warwick suggests that if you're married to someone who is happy, then you are happy as well.
COMPUTERS, TELEVISIONS AND AIR CONDITIONG MAY MAKE YOUR LIFE EASIER AND FUN, BUT THEY TAKE THEIR TOLL ON YOUR EYES
PREVENT EYE TROUBLE
With urnbanisation comes the increase in population within cities. People are spending more time sitting in air-conditioned offices. Children are more often seen sitting glued in front of television sets rather than playing outdoors. Computers are in wide spread use. But all this comes at a price. Pollution, TV, computers air conditioners, all take a heavy toll on the eyes.
The pollution in the city can also lead to allergic reactions observed in the eye. They mainfest as redness watering and itching. Simple practices like washing your face practices like washing your face with the eyes closed frequently can reduce the symptoms. In severe cases, it is better to visit your ophthalomologist and he will prescribe the ophthropriate anti-allergic medications.
Children are also susceptible to allergic conditions of the eye, which on occasion can be quite severe. Using over the counter medications frequently, cause more harm than good. They may contain steroids, which on prolonged use especially in children an deven adults, may lead to a rise in the eye pressure or cataract.
Frequent eye check-ups are a must. They should start in early childhood especially if you suspect a problem, and should be continued every couple of years.
Computer use for 8-10 hours in a day is very common amongst many people. It predisposes to dry eye. When a person sits in front of a computer, he tends to blink less because of a tendency to stare at the screen. The evaporation of the tears is faster leading to dryness. Similar problems occur on excessive televison use. The usage of simple lubricant drops can help alleviate this problem.
Here are some steps to take better care of your eyes:
Get an eye check-up:
According to National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, computer users should have an eye exam before they start working on a computer and once a year thereafter.
Use proper lighting:
When you use the computer, your ambient lighting should be half that found in most office.
Minimize glare by use of antiglare screen on the computer and or anti-reflective coating on the glasses.
Blink more often:
This is very important. It wets the eyes and decreases the dryness and irritation.
Exercise your eyes
: Look away from the computer every 20 minutes and gaze at a distant object. This relaxes the focusing muscles and reduces fatigue.
Consider computer eyewear: For greatest comfort at your computer you may benefit from having a customised eyeglass prescription for your computer work.
Is your vision numbered?Elton Pinto an dFaye Monterio tell you more on the three options to get back to clear vision.
With eyestrain going through the roof thanks to our lifestyles, keeping that perfect vision has become a challenge. In case you don't have perfect vision, there are three ways to get to it; spectacles, contact lenses and laser vision correction.
These have been the oldest option available for correcting vision. But how does it stand up to improving technology? Says B. Jayant, Vice President, Essilor, South Asia, Middle East, South Africa and East Africa, "Nano-techology has been used to create a variety of coatings for lenses.You can now get smudge-resistant lenses and anti-static lenses, which prevent dust from settling on the spectacle lens. You can also look out for 'anti-fatigue lenses', which will help reduce eyes-strain from reading both computer screeens and print.
These are available as both numbered and non-numbered lenses."
One of the biggest challenges for contact lens users is not being able to use them overnight. Not any more, says Mr.Sanjay Gupta, Managing Director, Emerging Markets-Asia Pacific, Johnson &Johnson Vision Care. "With advances in manufacturing technology, contact lens manufacturers can now produce soft contact lens, which can give three to five times more oxygen. It is best for the eye care practitioner to decide if extended. (over-night) wear is recommended for their patients."
"Daily disposable contact lenses is the healthiest way to wear contact lenses. As an example, we introduced a lens which incorporates special internal wetting agents to help retain the moisture in the contact lenses," he adds.
Laser vision correction or Lasik is used to correct myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. "Surgery can be performed on individuals between the age of 18 t0 40,"says Dr Anand Shroff, Laser surgeon at Shroff Eye Hospital.
"The procedure takes 10-12 minutes for both eyes. The surgery is very effective. 97 percent of patients go without glasses," says Sameer Shah, Director of Laser X.
How much does it cost?Says Dr Shroff,"The cost varies from Rs. 10,000 to 1,00,000." But how much would an average man pay for eye care? Dr.Shroff answers,"The ironic part about people is that they are willing to spend a bomb on material needs, but they scrounge on eye care."
Exercises for the eyes
They help the eye in two important ways, mechanically and optically.
They improve mechanical stability of the eye by coordinating and stengthening the eye muscies. They stengthen the convergence power of the eye and balance its function with that of accommodation.
They improve the optical image co-ordination between the two eyes, thus permitting a proper three dimensional accurate picture to be received and subsequently evaluated by the brain.
What can eye exercises not do?
Eye exercises would not be effective in cases of:
(1) Lowering the spectacle number.
(2) Curing cataract or glaucoma or for that matter, any organic disabillity in the eye.
(3) Curing large degrees of squint for which surger is still the only choice.
Eye exercises to do
1. Move your eyes to the vertical and horizontal extremes every 30 minutes. Do this especially if you are sitting in front of a computer monitor or studying long hours.
2.Palming(made famous by The Bates system of better vision without glasses)involves applying a cupped palm relaxes tired eyes and makes them feel more relaxed.
3. After long hours of looking at any near point(for example, our computer screen or a book), you can relax your eyes by flexing the ciliary muscle in the eye. To do this, look far and then at a point near to ou rapidly 10 times.
Get tid of spectacles nd contact lenses-the safe and effective way.
Spectacles have several limitations. They have poor cosmetic appeal and create problems with side vision and object magnification/minification. In addition, they are often inconvenient, for example during the rainly season. Contact lenses solve some of these difficulties, but require stringnet care. Extended wear of contact lenses has a relatively high risk of infection and people can develop intolerance towards them. In recent years Laser Vision Correction or LASIK has emerged as a credible alternative to the use of spectacles and contact lenses as it promises a permanent cure to the problem of refractive errors.
Laser Vision correction, involves an eximer laser to change the shape of the cornea of the eye(the front lens of the eye) using a sophisticated laser, which removes microscopic amounts of tissue from the cornea to correct refractive errors giving patients a life free from contact lenses or spectacles. The procedure has now been in existence for more than 20 years and millions of people in India and abroad have benefited from it. It is a simple treatment and takes only a few minutes per eye, allowing patients to see clearly within only a few hours after the procedure. It does not require any hospitalisation and the patient can start all routine activites by the next day.
SEE THE CHANGE
On world Glaucoma day, Kanhaiylal Jeswani tells Malay Desai how he lives fully after taming the silent killer and also w inning a battle against cancer.
A decade ago, businessman Kanhaiyalal Jeswani was a content man. Having phased out of his business and with his son settled in Singapore, he was looking forward to a peaceful retired life. But the last ten years have been tough for him. Three years after discovering glaucoma, he was also detected with cancer. Today at 73, he has a detailed bucket list top live by . He tells us his story:
It was in 2001 that I first suspected something was amiss with my eyesight. While driving, I found the glare from the oncoming vehicles a bit uncomfortable. I initially suspected diabetes and had my blood sugar tested. After several visits, tests ( and attempts to give me relief by using eye drops), prescribed by my ophthalmologist, I was detected with glaucoma.
The challenge then was to arrest further damage to my eyesight. The scary part was that vision once lost due to glaucoma is vision lost forever. My treatment, mostly consisted of application of eye drops. They are a habit now, and I have retained more than 90 per cent vision in my left eye. But, in my right eye, it’s a meager 10 per cent.
THE CANCER SCARE
In 2003/0, I was detected with intestinal cancer. It was setback with my glaucoma treatment already underlay. I decided to tackle. It head on and began chemotherapy immediately. By 2005, I successfully won the battle against cancer.
I started getting inclined towards yoga and the Art of Living course. Both helped immensely. Apart from giving me positively , yoga has made me physically fit . I travelled to Singapore and the Gulf, and lead a hectic social life here too. The basic and advanced courses at Art of Living along with my early morning pranayam routine make me energetic. (I have been off tea/coffee for long). I have realised that the crux of a happy life lies in four ‘S’es: Seva, Sadhana, Satsang and Smiles! NO day begins without pranayam: I do Sudarhsan Kriya once a week and undergo a medical check-up every six months.
THE BUCKET LIST.
Having always been a family visit my brothers in Kolkatta regularly and attend all social occasions. There are many more relatives. There are many more relatives in America and Canada whom I am planning to meet up with. As for my routine habits, I read easily using my reading glasses and although I have had to put brakes on my driving, I plan to get back to it soon. I can’t ;let my ailment hamper my desire to lead an active life.
THE SILENT KILLER
Dr. A Sanjana, Eye specialist at Dr. L H Hiranandani hospital tells us more on the ailment..
ais a group of eye disease characterised by damage to the optic nerve. They fall into two categories—Open Angle glaucoma(most common; show virtually no symptoms)and narrow angle Glaucoma (most common: shows virtually no symptoms) and Narrow angle Glaucoma (accounts for less than 10 percent of all glaucoma cases)
• People over 60 years are sic times more likely to get glaucoma.
• The journal of American Medical Association demonstrated a 40 per cent increase in incidence of glaucoma in adults who require approx. 14-35 puffs of steroid inhaler for asthma.
• Other risk factors include high myopia, diabetes, hypertension and high hypermetropia.
• Glaucoma is a chronic and must be monitored for life. Medical treatment includes use of eye drops daily. High eye pressure can be effectively controlled by a single or combination of eye drops.
• Laser treatment with YAG laser, Trabeculoplasty (SLT) are possible in selected patients. The surgical option(trabeculectomy), drainage devices) is reserved for a few who don’t respond to other modes of treatment.
• Regular eye check up is the key to early detection and effective treatment.
• Daily activities such as driving or playing certain sports may become more challenging. Loss of contrast sensitivity, problems with glare and light sensitivity are some of the possible effects of glaucoma that may interfere with your activities. Just trust your judgment.
• Don’t let glaucoma limit your life. You can very well make plans and start new ventures. The eye care community including the Glaucoma Research Foundation, keeps looking for better methods to treat glaucoma and will eventually find a cure.
The arsenal against cataract and glaucoma has seen some interesting technological advancements.
In the eighties, cataract, surgery was performed by cutting the eye open nearly in half (about 12 mm), the cataract was pushed out of the eye and then the eye was sutured with upto 10 stitches. The nineties saw the advent of stitches. The nineties saw the advent of phacoemulsification where the cataract was removed suing ultrasound energy through a probe. It had side effects like heat production and damage to the cornea when the cataract was very mature.
The next millennium saw the advent of three landmark technologies. With the arrival of microphaco, the surgery was performed through a hole just 0.7 mm in size. Incidentally, India is the world leader in this technology. Technology then evolved to the is of just sound and not ultrasound. This pulverized hard cataracts with no side effects.
The latest technology, Aqualase, Microsonix and Microbursh use only vibration, minimal bursts of energy and warm the cataract away. This eliminates the risk of injury, heat production or bleeding.
THE SILENT THIEF OF SIGHT
, also called ‘the silent thief of sight’ is another disease of the eye which is relatively unknown. Local population call it ‘Jhamar’ or ‘Kala Motia’. This disease has three symptoms. Firstly, high eye pressure which leads to changes in the optics nerve reasonable for a vision as well as loss of peripheral vision. In most cases, the patient is unaware as the loss in peripheral vision creeps up without warning. There is an ongoing mild headache. When central vision gets affected too, immediate surgery is required.
The only remedy about 25 years ago was eye 0-drops, which were mildly effective at best, surgery relied on making a hole in the eye through which fluid could flow out. This led to bleeding, as well as loss of vision in some cases. There was also a possibility of bacterial infection, which would lead to the loss of the eye.
Today, help comes in the form of a sugary called deep sclerectomy.
It is a microscopic surgery centred on the canal of the eye which is only 70 micros thick. If this canal is widened, the glaucoma can be controlled without any side effects This technique has yielded excellent results.
The early eighties’ technology was like using a sledgehammer to kill a flu, which resulted in collateral damage. Today’s modern systems use targeted energy 100 times less than was used then.
Watch Your Vision! No Matter how busy you are, it’s easy to take care of your eyes.
Ever wondered about the several hours you spend with your eyes constantly rivetted on your computer screens, laptops, cell-phones, television… all an inescapable part of our hectic daily lives, and the toll it takes on your eyes? What’s worse is that trapped in this fast-pace, we have ready excuses of not finding the time to take care of them. But there are some easy everyday tips that you can follow for healthy eyes. Here’s what to do…
Visit your optician at least once in six months. Besides, regular care, it will be easy to diagnose eye diseases at an early stage.
Wear UV protection
Protect your eyes by investing in a pair of good sunglasses that shield them from the harmful rays of the sun. This will also prevent wrinkles and ageing of the delicate skin area around it.
Smoking, even passively, plays a vital role in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and causes vision loss. So quit smoking.
Pile up on those leafy greens
Zinc, vitamin A, C and E go a long way when it comes to bright healthy eyes. So eat a large variety of fruit and vegetables to get plenty of antioxidants helpful for the health of your eyes.
Know your family history
Many eye diseases are hereditary, so knowing your family’s annals of eye maladies can diminish your hazards of eye diseases.
On the look-out
Listen to the signals that your eyes send you. If your eyes feel dry and tired, then refrain from reading, watching TV or computer.
Cultivate good reading habits.
Don’t read late at night when your eyes are tired. Don’t stare too long at black and white print. Look away about every twenty minutes to give your eyes a break. Have a protective screen over your computer to keep the glare off. Also ensure that there is no bright light glaring from office surfaces.
Here are some easy exercises to help you rejuvenate and strengthen your eye muscles:
Rub your hands together briskly to generate heat. Once warmed place the palms over your eyes making sure to block all light. Close your eyes. You will notice ‘spots’. This is simply eye fatigue. These will disappear as eyes relax.
Start by looking up as far as you can to your left.(Not your head, just your eyes). Slowly roll your eyes from left to right then in a wide circle until you end up where you started. Do twice to the right and then reverse directions and roll the opposite way.
Squeeze and blink
Squeeze your eye lids together tightly. Open, and blink rapidly several times. Repeat once or twice more.
The 20-20-20 rule:
If your eyes are weary from working at a computer for long, follow the 20-20-20 rule-look up from screen every 20 minutes at an object 20 feet away for 20 seconds.