People’s reliance on sight gives ophthalmology research a special importance to society.
Nature Outlook |
People’s reliance on sight means eyes are especially important among the body’s organs. It also gives scientists impetus to improve their understanding of how eyes work, and what can be done to keep eyes healthy. Around the world, some 1.3-billion people live with a visual impairment, of these, 36 million are blind. Researchers are attempting to reduce these staggering figures through efforts to treat those that modern medicine has so far failed to reach, and techniques that offer fresh hope to those whose blindness was once considered incurable.
Features and comment
A decade ago, clinicians had nothing to offer most people affected by retinal degeneration. Breakthroughs in genetics, bionics and stem-cell therapy are changing that.
Eye examinations could enable clinicians to detect early signs of neurological and neuropsychiatric conditions.
A popular hypothesis suggests that the mammalian eye developed in the shadow of the dinosaurs.
Smartphone apps and peripherals that simplify the diagnosis of sight problems could help doctors to reach billions of people in low-income countries.
Machine learning is being used to automate the detection of eye diseases.
The medical benefits of bringing artificial intelligence to eye care outweigh the risks, says Aaron Lee.
Cleverly designed artificial lighting can sidestep negative effects on the body’s circadian clock, and might even bring health benefits.
Pregnancy can affect the eye, but the recommendation that short-sighted women have a caesarean section to protect their vision is outdated and unnecessary.
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