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Home » Eye Health » Knowledge Is Power

Knowledge Is Power

Taken from Miami Scientifica, The New Vision Potential Retinal Regeneration written by Yeh Shiuan (Rick) – Lin p.9 (04/2015)

…Every time I pick up my cell phone or try to read something with the light off, I can almost hear my mom's voice ringing through my head: “Don't read in the dark!” “Don't stare at your computer screen for too long, you'll go blind!” In this day and age, ophthalmologists are echoing the the same sentiments as they are presented with more and more cases of vision damage. The culprit? Our dependence on technology. Leaving the house without a cellphone, computer or tablet is practically blasphemy. Often, However, we fail to realize the true damage we cause ourselves by constantly staring at our electronic devices. Jeff Todd, chief operating officer of Prevent Blindness America, reported to WebMD that there has been an 89 percent increase in diabetic retinopathy rates and a 25 percent increase in macular degeneration rates over the last 12 years. Another 12-year study, published in 2009, reported that there has been a 17 percent increase in myopia (nearsightedness) diagnoses. According to a 2013 survey by Everyday Health, nearly 70 percent of US adults suffer from visual strain as a result of their increasing use of technology. Although many doctors warn their patients against prolonged use of electronic devices, the number of people with deteriorating eyesight still continues to increase. What are doctors to do when the very technology on which society is so reliant is actually a major cause of vision loss in its population? To answer a question with another question: What if one cell could instantly regenerate those losses? Researchers at the Schepens Eye Institute of the Harvard Medical School are investigating just that…

…With the breakthrough discovery of Muller cells, scientists can look towards applications in a clinical setting. Chen believes that if this is successful, a drug created from aminoadipate will have profound implications for patients with damaged retinas. This would be a scientific breakthrough free of physical intervention. This is extremely relevant to college students because many use laptops without taking breaks. As demonstrated by Shaban's study, light emitted by modern technology degenerates the retina – Over time, the damage from this prolonged exposure can accumulate to disastrous effect. Without doubt, parents have a legitimate reason to scold their children for their use of phones, tablets, laptops, and all.