How can damaged eyes be improved?
Eyesight is arguably the most important of the five senses, and a loss of visual acuity can be alarming. While there are many ways to prevent damage to the eyes, such as wearing proper eyewear to protect your eyes from UVA, UVB and blue light, what can be done to reverse it once there is actual damage?
Gary Rodney, leading Smart Vision optometrist with Smart Vision Optometry, says that while protecting your eyes to mitigate damage in the first place should be a priority, there are steps you can take after the fact to either slow or reverse damage to the eye.
“This all depends on the initial cause of visual deterioration,” tells Rodney. “Not all injuries can be reversed, however; there is new research coming out each day finding new ways to tackle old problems.”
Physical injury to the eye generally requires surgery depending on the severity, while some less serious injuries merely require proper rest and recovery. In these cases, it is best to keep the eye covered to protect it from sunlight as well as infection. A wounded eye is very susceptible to inflammation or infection. This could potentially slow the healing process of scratches or cuts, and it is best to let the eye rest completely hence the eyepatch.
Some age-related issues can be reversed with surgery as well. For example, the eye’s ability to focus either at a distance or on near objects can deteriorate over time, making a person either nearsighted or farsighted. Some are born with these conditions, while some develop them later on in life. LASIK, which stands for Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis, is a surgical process using a tiny laser beam to lift a flap of the cornea’s surface and remove a small layer of tissue in the lens to alter its shape. This surgery has also proved helpful in cases where the patient has presented with astigmatism, where the lens or surface of the eye is irregularly shaped, causing blurred or distorted vision.
However, Smart Vision Optometrists only support LASIK treatment as a last resort after exhausting all holistic wellness treatment methods, as the LASIK is permanent and most often removes the ability to provide holistic treatment.
Certain diseases stem from nutritional deficiencies. In some cases, it is possible to fix the damage caused by these diseases by simply correcting the fault. For instance, a lack of Vitamin A, which is crucial for maintaining the photoreceptors in your retina, can lead to dry eyes and separately, retinal damage eventually leading to total blindness . One of the first signs of Vitamin A deficiency is dry eyes or night vision problems. There are many nutritional sources of Vitamin A such as dairy, carrots and spinach, but to be safe, consume a wide variety of fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy diet.
New research is constantly being published, giving doctors and optometrists hope to correct irreversible eye damage. For example, a study performed by researchers at Harvard Medical school showed that it is possible to reverse glaucoma-like damage in mice by inserting three specific genes into the retina. While this study was not done in humans, it does give hope for the possibility of reversing the effects of glaucoma but does require further research before it can be safely used in practice.
While there are ways to reverse ocular damage, prevention is better than a cure, so take proper steps to protect your eyes and have regular eye health checkups to have intervention before it becomes serious.
Smart Vision Optometry clinics are located in multiple suburbs in Sydney. Book a Smart Vision Comprehensive Vision Skills Assessment or Advanced Eye Health Test for any child or adult by calling the Mosman clinic (02) 9969 1600 or the Bondi clinic (02) 9365 5047, book an appointment online.
Written and syndicated by YDMA News.