Conjunctivitis, or “pink eye,” occurs when the eye’s conjunctiva gets inflamed. The eye may become red or pink, swollen and irritated and mucus may be present. Conjunctivitis can be highly infectious.
The conjunctiva is a thin cell layer, or membrane, between the eyelids’ inner surface and the eye whites.
Inflammation causes tiny blood vessels, or capillaries, in the conjunctiva to become more prominent. This causes discomfort and the appearance of pink or red, which can last from a few days to several weeks.
Causes include pain , infection, and allergy. This article will concentrate primarily on infectious conjunctivitis.
Important facts about conjunctivitis:
Here are some of the main points about conjunctivitis, or pink eye. More details are given in the main article.
- Pink eye can result from an allergy, an irriation, or an infection.
- A virus or a bacteria can cause an infection. Sometimes it is linked to a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
- Antibiotics are sometimes used, but they will not help if the cause is a virus.
- Symptoms normally last up to 2 weeks, but they can persist for longer.
- It is important to wash hands carefully and not to share personal items, such as towels, as this can spread the infection.
Signs and symptoms may include the following:
- redness, because of irritation and widening of the tiny blood vessels in the conjunctiva
- a shiny, watery eye, as the tear glands become overactive
- a sticky or crusty coating on the eyelashes, especially on waking after a long sleep, because the infection produces mucus
- soreness and “grittiness,” like sand in the eye
- swelling, due to inflammation or rubbing
The redness and soreness may affect one eye first, then spread to the other.
There may also be:
Swollen lymph nodes: The lymph node in front of the ear becomes slightly tender and swollen. It can feel like a button under the skin. The lymph node is a part of the immune system in the body that fights infection.
A person should see a doctor if:
- the eye is very red and painful
- vision is affected
- the eye becomes very sensitive to light
These symptoms may indicate a more serious condition.
Newborns sometimes grow pink eyes. Symptoms include eyelids which are red, tender and puffy. Urgent medical attention is needed to prevent complications and to identify and treat any conditions that underlie them.
Nearly half of infectious conjunctivitis cases resolve within 2 weeks without any medical attention, and a doctor can recommend that you watch and wait.
They may prescribe eye drops with decongestants or antihistamines to lower swelling and irritation symptoms.
Antibiotics for infective conjunctivitis
Antibiotics will not help if the cause is viral, and even a bacterial infection may last up to a month with antibiotics. Some studies show that for 1 in 10 patients, antibiotics may help speed up recovery.
Antibiotics may however be prescribed if symptoms are severe or lasted longer than 2 weeks. A doctor may give drops in the eye to antibiotics just in case they help.
For infective conjunctivitis the most commonly prescribed antibiotics are:
These are eye drops or ointment which are administered directly to the eye. Dosage depends on the type. Ointments can be better to use on an infant or young child than eye drops.
Vision can become blurry shortly after using eye drops. When driving or running machinery make sure that you see clearly. If there is no improvement in the symptoms, or pain or blurry vision, you should go back to the doctor.
A number of home remedies can help ease the symptoms and may accelerate recovery.
Contact lenses: Do not use lenses until at least 24 hours after completion of antibiotic treatment, then throw away and replace lenses, lens case and solution
You can buy artificial tear-eye drops over the counter ( OTC) to help relieve soreness and stickiness.
Several times a day a wash cloth soaked in warm water can be used to clean any sticky substances gently. Do this gently, so as to avoid eye irritation. For any eye using a clean washcloth.
Regular washing of hands with warm water and soap will help prevent infection from spreading.
Warm compresses can soothe discomfort. Soak a clean, lint-free cloth in warm water, wring it out, and gently add to the eye that is closed.
The symptoms below may indicate a more serious condition. They need immediate medical assistance:
- pain in the eye
- sensitivity to light, or photophobia
- loss of vision
- very intense redness
Usually the condition becomes no longer contagious when the eyes look and feel normal again.
Eye infection can be caused by a virus or by bacteria.
Viruses causing conjunctivitis include adenoviruses, and some herpes virus types.
Bacterial causes include Staphylococcus aureus, Streptococcus pneumoniae, the species Haemophilus and Chlamydia trachomatis, which are less common.
Sometimes, bacterial conjunctivitis is due to a sexually transmitted infection ( STI), such as chlamydia. If after a month, symptoms do not disappear, this may indicate a STI. With treatment most other types of bacterial conjunctivitis will resolve faster.
Infective conjunctivitis is highly contagious and can be easily transmitted to another person.
Causes in newborns
In newborns, pink eye can be caused by infection, irritation or a blocked tear duct. The cause can be difficult to determine, because similar symptoms occur in each type.
The mother often passes on bacteria or a virus during childbirth, even though she has no symptoms. An STI can be linked to the bacteria or virus.
If a newborn has Chlamydia-related bacterial conjunctivitis, symptoms usually appear 5 to 12 days after delivery. If gonorrhea activates the bacteria, they normally turn up after 2 to 4 days.
It can also transmit the virus that causes oral and genital herpes at birth and appear as conjunctivitis.
Pink eye occurs in some cases as a reaction eyedrops given at birth, to prevent infection. The symptoms in this case usually pass after 24 to 36 hours.
Other causes of red eyes
Reddened eyes can also be a symptom of:
Blepharitis: This is an eyelid infection usually causing redness, pain and itching. The eyelashes will also feature dandruff-like scales. Blepharitis is not infectious.
Acute glaucoma: This is a rare type of glaucoma that causes pressure in the eye. Symptoms can quickly appear and include pain, red eyes and loss of vision, which can become permanent without treatment.
Keratitis: The cornea gets inflamed and maybe ulcerated. If scarring of the cornea occurs, this can lead to permanent loss of vision. At the front of the eye the cornea is the transparent part.
Iritis: The iris becomes inflamed. Untreated iritis can cause the iris to stuck onto the lens’ front surface, preventing the pupil from draining fluid. This can end up causing permanent damage to the eye. The iris is the colored part of the eye, that part which controls the amount of light entering the eye.
Depending on the cause there are three different types of conjunctivitis.
Chemical or irritating conjunctivitis: This can become inflamed and sore if something irritates the eye. The irritant could be an eyelash misdirected into the eye, or chlorine following a swim in a pool.
Allergic conjunctivitis: This occurs when an allergens, such as dust mites, pollen or animal fur, come into contact with the eye. An allergen induces an overreaction in the body’s immune system, causing pain and inflammation.
Infective conjunctivitis: An infection is caused by a bacteria or virus which makes the eyes red or pink and watery. The eyelashes and mucus can have sticky coating in the eyes.
A physician can diagnose conjunctivitis by examining the signs and symptoms and asking questions. Irritant and allergic conjunctivitis treatment for an infection is different from that.
Some infectious conjunctivitis cases resolve without treatment within a few days to 2 weeks but others can take up to a month. Antibiotics can shorten recovery time for bacterial conjunctivitis, and reduce the spread of infection to others.
If symptoms continue for 2 weeks or longer, the person will return to see their physician, who will reassess the condition and change the treatment.
For testing in a laboratory, the doctor may take a swab from the infected eye. Knowing what sort of bacteria causes the infection would help them to administer a suitable treatment. Most doctors, however, do not do that test.
The risk of catching or transmitting infectious conjunctivitis may be reduced with:
- not touching or rubbing the eyes
- washing the hands frequently with soap and warm water, or use hand sanitizer
- always removing contact lenses at night, and following instructions about lens hygiene
- keeping eyeglasses clean
- not sharing personal items such as towels and pillows, make up and contact lenses with other people
- using goggles in a swimming pool, and not swimming if you have an infection
It is a safe idea to throw out any contact lens solution and eye make up after the infection has gone away.
Avoiding potential or known irritants and allergens can reduce the risk of irritant and allergic conjunctivitis.
This includes ensuring that the rooms are well ventilated, cleaning and maintaining the air conditioning units, and avoiding smoky atmospheres.
The risk of bacteria or a virus causing complications caused by infective conjunctivitis is small. However, complications are likely when the pink eye is a symptom of an underlying disorder, such as a STI.
Newborns present an increased risk of complications. Infective neonatal conjunctivitis can be severe and can progress rapidly. It can impact vision in very severe cases.
Other types of bacterial conjunctivitis can, in rare cases, also cause complications to a newborn.
- Meningitis: A potentially fatal illness in which the meninges, a layer of cells that covers the brain and spinal cord, becomes infected.
- Cellulitis: A bacterial infection of the deepers layers of skin and the fat and soft tissues that are under the skin.
- Septicemia, or blood poisoning: Bacteria enter the bloodstream and attack the tissues in the body.
Most infants do, however, recover fully from infectious conjunctivitis without any complications.However, most infants make a full recovery from infective conjunctivitis with no complications.
Allergic conjunctivitis: What to know
When a person’s eyes come into touch with an allergen, a chemical that causes the body’s immune system to respond, allergic conjunctivitis develops.
The eye gets inflamed and painful. The overactive immune system causes the body to produce histamine and other active compounds through mast cells, resulting in symptoms. The nerve terminals are irritated when blood vessels dilate or expand. As a result, the amount of tears secreted increases.
Infectious conjunctivitis differs from allergic conjunctivitis. The causes are not the same.
When the immune system overreacts to a substance, an allergic response occurs. The majority of people do not react to dust, pollen, or other substances in this way, but other people are more sensitive.
Allergens that typically cause allergic conjunctivitis include:
- eye drops
- pollen, as in hay fever
- animal fur
- dust mites.
There are different types of allergic conjunctivitis.
1) Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis or allergic rhinoconjunctivitis
In regions with cold winters, pollen is the most prevalent allergen that causes conjunctivitis.
Other symptoms of pollen-induced conjunctivitis include sneezing, an itchy, clogged, or runny nose, and itchy, watery eyes.
Hay fever is also known as seasonal allergic conjunctivitis or allergic rhinoconjunctivitis.
It generally takes place in the spring and summer. Plants, particularly grass, trees, and flowers, are in pollen during this time. Some people get symptoms in the early autumn.
2) Contact conjunctivitis
Cosmetics, eyedrops, or other chemicals that irritate the conjunctiva in people who are vulnerable induce symptoms known as contact dermatoconjunctivitis. An allergic reaction occurs when these compounds come into contact with the body. Some people are hypersensitive to certain chemicals.
After the substance comes into contact with the eyes, symptoms generally appear 2 to 4 days later.
3) Papillary conjunctivitis (giant papillary conjunctivitis)
This is a common side effect of wearing contact lenses. Contact lenses can be uncomfortable for some people. This might grow worse and more unpleasant with time, causing the eyes to become red.
When a person wears hard contact lenses following eye surgery, giant papillary conjunctivitis (GPC) can develop.
Infections of the eye can be caused by poor hygiene when handling contact lenses, solutions, and cases.
4) Perennial conjunctivitis
Perennial conjunctivitis is a kind of conjunctivitis that lasts all year. It is mostly caused by an allergy to home dust mites. These tiny insect-like critters like to reside in bedding, upholstered furniture, and carpets.
Dust mites feed on human skin cells and like warm, damp people.
An allergic reaction to a particular dust mite protein is known as dust-mite allergy. Conjunctivitis, a clogged or runny nose, sneezing, and airway tightness, as seen in asthma, are all symptoms of this.
Animal dander, minute scales from animal skins or hair, and bird feathers are among the other causes. Some people may experience an allergic response to them.
The following suggestions may help:
- Cold compresses: The eyes can be soothed by placing a wad of cotton wool soaked in cold water on the eyelid.
- Avoiding the allergen: Staying indoors while the pollen count is high, keeping the house clean, and limiting soft furnishings can all help.
- Contact lenses should be avoided at all costs: These should not be used until all symptoms have vanished. After using any eye medicine, wait at least 24 hours before putting contact lenses back on.
- Artificial tears: These eye drops dilute the allergen and help remove it.
- Refraining from rubbing the eyes: Rubbing might aggravate the irritation. It’s tempting to touch inflamed eyes, so this might be challenging.
Antihistamines, mast cell stabilizers, and corticosteroids are used to treat the condition.
Antihistamines, taken orally or as eye drops, may provide quick relief from symptoms. Histamines are blocked by antihistamines. When the immune system responds to a foreign substance, histamines are produced.
Cetirizine, fexofenadine, and loratadine are oral antihistamines used to treat allergic conjunctivitis. Once a day is generally plenty. Alaway and Zaditor are antihistamine eye drops. The eye drops will aid with eye problems, but the oral dose will help with a runny nose and other symptoms as well.
Azelastine, emedastine, and ketotifen are the most regularly prescribed antihistamine eye drops. They’re used twice or three times a day on the eyes.
Some antihistamines might make you sleepy. People who are taking them for the first time should avoid driving or using heavy machinery until they know how they will react to the drug.
Mast cell stabilizers
Mast cell stabilizers take longer to operate than antihistamines, but their effects stay longer once they do.
Lodoxamide and nedocromil are the most often used mast cell stabilizers. They are available as eye drops.
Antihistamines and mast cell stabilizers are used by certain patients. Before the mast cell stabilizers start acting, the antihistamines give some relief from symptoms.
These are only used in extreme cases and are rarely prescribed. The adrenal cortex produces corticoid, a steroid hormone. Synthetic corticosteroids are a type of drug that can reduce swelling and suppress the immune system.
Corticosteroids are effective, but they should be taken with caution and only for a short period of time due to the risk of adverse effects.
The majority of people who suffer from allergic conjunctivitis have issues with both eyes.
Symptoms may occur rapidly after coming into touch with the allergen in the eyes. Symptoms may develop after 2 to 4 days in other circumstances, such as when eye drops cause a response.
The following are some of the signs and symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis:
- Eyelids swollen: When the conjunctiva becomes inflamed or if the person rubs their eyes a lot, the eyelids may puff up.
- Soreness: The inflammation may cause pain and tenderness throughout the affected area. Some people describe the pain as burning.
- Red or pink eyes: As the capillaries, or small blood vessels, in the conjunctiva widen, the eyes become irritated.
- Pain: One or both eyes may be affected. If a person has painful, red eyes, is light sensitive, or has vision problems, they should see a doctor right away.
- Itchiness: Itching may occur as the eyes become irritated. Rubbing can aggravate the itching.
Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis affects people at specific seasons of the year, generally from early spring to summer and occasionally into fall.
Perennial allergic conjunctivitis patients are vulnerable at any time of year. They could notice that their symptoms are more severe at some times of the day than at others.
Contact conjunctivitis can be identified by red, cracked, or dry eyelids. The symptoms of contact conjunctivitis and giant papillary conjunctivitis are not seasonal, and they can appear at any time of year.
A doctor will examine the patient and inquire about signs and symptoms such as sneezing and a runny nose to diagnose allergic conjunctivitis.
Other conditions with comparable symptoms may need to be ruled out as well.
Anyone experiencing the following symptoms should contact a doctor right once, since they might be signs of a more serious problem:
- vision problems
- very red eyes
- painful eyes
- sensitivity to light, or photophobia
Aside from allergic conjunctivitis, the following disorders can cause redness in the eyes:
- Keratitis: The cornea gets irritated and ulcerated on occasion. It can sometimes lead to corneal scarring, resulting in irreversible vision loss.
- Iritis: Iris inflammation is a condition in which the iris becomes inflamed. The iris may cling to the lens if left untreated, limiting critical fluid outflow from the pupil. It’s possible that irreparable eye damage will develop.
- Infective conjunctivitis: This is caused by bacteria or virus. It’s possible that it’s caused by the herpes virus, and it might signify a sexually transmitted infection (STI).
- Acute glaucoma: In the eye, pressure builds up. Symptoms might emerge quickly. Acute glaucoma, if left untreated, can result in irreversible visual loss.
The doctor will also look to see if the discomfort is caused by an item or substance, such as an eyelash.
If the patient’s symptoms are severe or worsening, the doctor may recommend them to an ophthalmologist, or eye specialist.
After recent eye surgery, anyone who gets papillary conjunctivitis will be sent to an ophthalmologist. To ensure that therapy is effective, the eye or eyes must be closely monitored.
Complications of allergic conjunctivitis, whether chronic or seasonal, are uncommon.
Allergic conjunctivitis can have a negative influence on a person’s quality of life, although it seldom has a long-term effect on health.
Dermatoconjunctivitis and large papillary conjunctivitis can also cause complications.
It’s possible that the cornea will get inflamed. Keratitis is a condition that causes ulcers to grow on the cornea. This raises the danger of scarring and the chance of vision loss for the rest of one’s life.
Keratitis symptoms include:
- blurred vision
- a feeling that there is something in the eye
- watery eyes
- intense pain in the eye
- sensitivity to light
If any of these symptoms appear, the person should seek medical attention.
Finding out what causes allergic rhinitis and avoiding the allergen is the best method to prevent it.
Pet fur and pollen are two common allergies.
If your pet is the source of your allergy, try the following:
- wash their bedding regularly
- brush them regularly and wash them every 2 weeks
- keep pets out of the bedroom
If you’re going to a residence with a pet, taking an antihistamine one hour ahead of time may help alleviate symptoms.
If pollen causes an allergic response, do the following:
- use wraparound sunglasses to protect your eyes
- bathe and change your clothes after being outside
- try to get someone else to cut the lawn for you
- stay inside and keep doors and windows closed when the pollen count is high
- avoid areas with a lot of grass, flowers, or trees
Pollen counts are greatest in the mid-morning and early-evening hours.
If you have an allergic reaction to home dust mites, you should:
- choose anti-allergenic matresses and bedding
- vacuum often, and dust with a clean, damp cloth
- avoid soft furnishings, such as carpets and drapes
- use a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter
What you need to know about blepharitis
Blepharitis is a condition that affects the upper and lower eyelids. Around the eyelashes, it can cause clumping and stickiness.
Inflammation near the base of the eyelashes causes it. There are a variety of therapies available, including home remedies, that can help to alleviate symptoms.
We’ll go over what causes blepharitis, how to remedy it, and how to avoid it in this post.
Blepharitis can affect people of all ages and can be acute or chronic in nature; chronic adult blepharitis is the most frequent kind. Blepharitis is a term that refers to a persistent inflammation of the eyelids.
The symptoms of blepharitis are depicted in the images below.
Blepharitis can be caused by a variety of causes.
They are as follows:
- parasites: Demodex eyelash mites
- infection with the herpes simplex virus (HSV)
- an inflammatory reaction to bacteria that normally live on eyelids
- seborrhoeic dermatitis or rosacea
Blepharitis is more common in people who have dandruff. Controlling the dandruff might assist to ease the symptoms.
Dysfunction of the Meibomian glands on the rim of the eyelids is another probable reason. These glands secrete an oily material that keeps the tear film from evaporating in the eye.
Some clinicians feel that blepharitis is a prelude to Meibomian gland malfunction rather than blepharitis being caused by gland dysfunction.
Blepharitis can be anterior or posterior.
Anterior: This affects the eyelid’s front edge, where the eyelashes contact it.
Posterior: This affects the inner edge of the eyelid, where it meets the eyeball.
The following are the key signs and symptoms:
- burning or stinging eyes.
- oversensitivity to light (photophobia).
- gritty feeling in eyes and the sensation of having something in the eye.
- itchy eyelids.
- red eyes.
- irritated and watery eyes.
- flaking and crusting at the base of the eyelashes, similar to dandruff.
Symptoms are usually more noticeable in the mornings.
Although blepharitis is not a sight-threatening condition, it can cause temporary vision loss.
Chronic blepharitis symptoms come and go, with periods of remission (a break in the symptoms) followed by exacerbations (a flare-up). It frequently affects both eyes at the same time.
Blepharitis is usually treated with a combination of medical and home remedies.
A doctor will likely prescribe home therapy, such as the ones listed below, but they can also do the following process:
Electrochemical lid margin debridement (BlephEx): This clears the eyelids of any mites, bacteria, and the biofilm that they produce. Any congested Meibomian glands are also opened.
Thermal pulsation treatment (Lipiflow): This dissolves any clogging debris in the Meibomian glands.
Intense pulse light therapy (IPL): This helps to unclog congested eyelid glands.
Severe instances of blepharitis may necessitate the use of antibiotics, either topical or oral.
In order to treat both forms of blepharitis, it’s important to keep your eyelids clean. Even if your symptoms have improved, you should keep doing it.
The most important aspect of therapy is self-care. Blepharitis symptoms might reappear if self-care is not maintained.
Although blepharitis cannot be cured, it can be effectively managed with medication.
People with eyelid inflammation should avoid wearing cosmetics around their eyes, such as eyeliner, mascara, and other eye makeup, in addition to home therapy.
Blepharitis treatment entails:
- massage, to express the small oil glands of the eyelids
- lid cleansing, to remove crusts
- warm compresses, to loosen crusts
What is the best way to apply a warm compress?
Placing a warm compress over closed eyelids, warming the compress with warm water when it cools, and reapplying for up to 10 minutes is all it takes to use a warm compress.
The following are some suggestions:
- Using a soft cloth only: Scrubbing too vigorously or using a rough cloth can damage the skin and eyes.
- Dipping the cloth in warm water: Some patients have suffered facial burns by using a microwave to heat up the wet cloth.
Cleanse the eyelids after using a warm compress for up to 10 minutes.
Warming eye masks: These may have the same effect as warm cloth compresses while being more convenient. There are additional eyelid cleansers (Ocusoft, Thera Tears Sterilid) that can be used instead of dilute baby shampoo.
How do you clean your eyelids?
To do so, use a cotton swab soaked in a mild solution of baby shampoo to gently rub the eyelid margin—at the base of the eyelashes and where the glands are located. In roughly half a cup of warm water, drop 2 to 3 drops.
This lid hygiene must be done twice a day, every day as a self-care routine. This is a significant lifelong commitment, but without it, the symptoms will return.
How do you massage your eyes?
Massaging helps express the oily contents of the glands after applying the heated compress to release the sebum.
Massage the eyelid margin, where the eyelashes and glands are, with a finger or a cotton-tipped applicator or swab in tiny circular strokes.
These non-prescription eye drops will assist to alleviate the dryness of the eyes caused by blepharitis during the day. Artificial tears that are free of preservatives are the finest to use.
Artificial tears may be purchased over the counter, but you should first consult your doctor to ensure that they are appropriate.
Symptoms will be discussed, a medical history will be taken, and the patient’s eyelids and eyes will be examined.
The doctor will search for indicators that will help them figure out which sort of blepharitis you have. A slit lamp may be used.
This is a low-power microscope with an intense thin-beam light source that has been particularly constructed.
The doctor may examine the exterior of the eyes and the eyelids with the lamp while the patient’s head is held still by the chin and forehead resting on supports.
The doctor will next provide a therapy recommendation. This may or may not be the case, depending on the cause. A acceptable alternative will be picked if blepharitis looks to be caused by a skin condition, such as rosacea, or if it is caused by mites.
A novel laser treatment for macular degeneration may be effective
A novel form of laser treatment has the potential to reduce the course of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of visual loss, without causing retinal damage.
This was the finding of a research published in The FASEB Journal by the University of Melbourne in Australia.
The effectiveness of a new low-impact, low-energy laser therapy for individuals with early age-related macular degeneration (AMD) was investigated by Erica Fletcher, an associate professor at Melbourne’s Department of Anatomy and Neuroscience, and colleagues.
They discovered that, unlike previous laser therapies, the “nanosecond laser” they examined did not harm the retina, which is the light-detecting tissue at the back of the eye.
Prof. Fletcher claims that theirs is the first study to show how the novel laser treatment can help people with AMD improve their eye health.
AMD is a painless eye condition that causes central vision loss over time. It is the main cause of irreversible impairment of fine or close-up vision – such as that required for reading – among people aged 65 and older, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (resource no longer accessible at www.cdc.gov).
According to estimates, roughly 1.8 million Americans aged 40 and over have AMD, with another 7.3 million at risk.
AMD is responsible for 48 percent of severe vision loss in Australia, where the study took conducted, with an estimated 17,700 new cases per year.
New laser treatment reduced drusen and thickness of Bruch’s membrane
In the early stages of AMD, examination of the back of the eye reveals the development of microscopic fatty deposits known as drusen, as well as a thickening of a thin layer of tissue known as Bruch’s membrane. As these symptoms increase, the core section of the retina is slowly destroyed.
According to the findings, the nanosecond laser can diminish drusen and thin the Bruch’s membrane without causing damage to the retina’s structure.
The researchers conducted a number of tests and experiments as part of the study. One study included 50 AMD patients who had a single session of nanosecond laser therapy and were followed up on two years later. Their drusen burden was lowered in comparison to a similar group of untreated individuals, according to eye tests.
The membrane was thinner three months after treatment in mice with thicker Bruch’s membrane who underwent the laser therapy.
New laser treatment did not damage the retina
The researchers used human and animal eyes to assess the new laser’s effect on the retina, for example, using a procedure called “immunohistochemistry,” which can detect minute changes in tissue structure.
The researchers state this about their research:
“Nanosecond laser resolved drusen independent of retinal damage and improved BM [Bruch’s membrane] structure, suggesting this treatment has the potential to reduce AMD progression.”
The findings “indicate that treating people with AMD with our new nanosecond laser lowers indications of the disease,” according to Prof. Fletcher.
“Most importantly,” she continues, “the nanosecond laser does not cause harm to the delicate retina, unlike other lasers now used to treat eye disease.”
The researchers also discovered evidence that using the nanosecond laser to treat one eye can have beneficial benefits on the other eye, raising the prospect that one therapy could be enough to correct disease in both eyes.
Glaucoma, in which fluid builds up in the eye and puts pressure on the optic nerve, is another main cause of blindness. The condition is treatable, but there is no treatment at this time.