As we age, many of us may begin to worry about our eye health more often. Some of the most common eye health problems that individuals in their senior years may experience include cataracts, glaucoma, loss of eye sight, and glare sensitivity. While these problems are sometimes solved by surgery, there is a non-surgical solution for some. NAC Eye Drops, for example, provide those who have cataracts a breakthrough alternative to cataract surgery. NAC Eye drops have been known to cure cataracts simply through the use of eye drops.
One of the most common eye sight problems is glaucoma. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness worldwide. It is a condition which results from built up pressure inside the eye and causes damage to the optic nerve, affecting eye sight. The optic nerve becomes damaged enough that it cannot send visual information to the brain, a vital part of how sight works.
Can Glaucoma Be Cured?
Glaucoma can be treated through drugs or surgery. However, these treatments are only able to preserve the what is left of the vision. They cannot fix or restore the vision that has already been lost. The vision damaged by glaucoma already is permanent.
The vision lost by glaucoma is permanent because the optic nerve is located in the central nervous system and is unable to regenerate. When you damage nerves in your arm, for example, the nerves can recover. But the optic nerve and the spinal cord, which are both located in the body’s central nervous system are different from other nerves, in that, they do not recover, making vision loss permanent.
What Kind of Regeneration Strategies Are Health Researchers Trying?
Researchers have been working on how to regenerate nerves for a while. The regeneration of nerves can open a lot of doors for many people. It could cure blindness in some cases, deafness, and help someone recover from a spinal injury.
One strategy to facilitate nerve fiber growth has been to attempt to remove any inhibitory factors in the cellular environment. Health researchers working on this have tried to prevent the expression of molecules that suppress axon (nerve) growth using molecular biology techniques. For example, one way this could be done is to introduce antibodies into the body to block the inhibition and to allow nerve re-growth.
Other regeneration techniques include nerve grafts, nanotechnology, cellular implants, genetic manipulations, and other stem cell approaches. Nerve grafts have been found unsuccessful due to the presence of scar tissue in the optic nerve, since nerves cannot regenerate across scarred areas.
Nanotechnology has been used to create a protein nanofiber structure environment through which researchers hope axons can regenerate. Another technique that has been looked at is cellular implants, in which cells are engineered in a lab. The engineered cells can then provide physical support to the process of nerve re-growth through chemicals.
Other techniques mentioned, genetic manipulations and stem cell research show great promise for optic nerve regeneration but still have more research to be done.
What all this means is that the future for optic nerve regeneration is promising and there is a possibility that permanent eyesight loss will be able to be restored one day. Researchers have made significant progress. The next challenge is to optimize nerve regeneration and hopefully restore vision for those with glaucoma.