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Vision

— Medical

Implantable pump to regulate fluids in the eye and preserve vision

By - July 2, 2015 1 Picture

When its levels are slightly off-kilter, eye fluid can create pretty big problems for our vision. When blockages occur they can lead to a build up in pressure that destroys the optic nerve and causes blindness, a condition we know as glaucoma. In contrast, a lack of fluid can cause the eye to cave in and stop functioning, a disease known as phthisis bulbi. Currently, little can be done about these irreversible conditions once they take hold, but Fraunhofer researchers have a potential solution in the works by way of a microscopic pump that can be implanted in the eyeball to regulate ocular pressure.

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— Health and Wellbeing

AdlensFocuss eyeglasses switch focus with the twist of a dial

By - June 24, 2015 4 Pictures

A few years ago, UK-based Adlens developed self-adjustable glasses designed to let those in the developing world dial in their ideal magnification level – no optometrist required. Now the company is bringing the technology to the developed world as an alternative to bifocals. Instead of looking through a different area of the lenses (and tilting your head forward and back) to switch from near to far objects, the magnification of the AdlensFocuss glasses is adjusted by a small dial on the arm.

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— Medical

Newly identified protein may hold key to preventing diabetes-induced blindness

By - May 25, 2015 1 Picture

Diabetic retinopathy is one of a number of nasty effects diabetes can have on the human body. The disease sees the development of leaky blood vessels in the eye that over time lead to permanent loss of vision. Though it is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in American adults, its progress can be slowed by certain drugs or laser treatment. But research has now uncovered a new protein found to drive the condition, raising the possibility of preventing it altogether.

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— Health and Wellbeing

Optogenetic therapy shows promise for reversing acquired blindness

By - May 10, 2015 2 Pictures

Across the world many millions of people suffer from inherited conditions that progressively degenerate the light-sensing cells in their eyes, and eventually send them blind. Recently, however, researchers from the University of Bern and the University of Gottingen have developed a way to possibly reverse this damage by using a newly-developed, light-sensitive protein embedded into other cells in the retina to restore vision.

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— Health and Wellbeing

Wearable collision warning device for the visually-impaired

By - March 29, 2015 1 Picture
For people with reduced vision, getting around safely without walking into obstacles can be tricky. Those with decent central vision but whose peripheral sight is fading or lost are particularly at risk because they aren't conditioned to be alert for oncoming dangers they can't see. But a new pocket-sized device that sits on a person's chest may make walking much safer for these people and others with visual impairments by warning of impending collisions. Read More
— Space

NASA seeks to understand vision changes due to microgravity

By - March 6, 2015 2 Pictures
Having evolved under the pressure of Earth's gravity, it isn't surprising that our bodies experience adverse physiological affects after long periods in low-Earth orbit. NASA hopes that a new experiment, the Fluid Shifts investigation, set to launch to the ISS later this year, will shed light on the causes of vision loss and deformation of the structure to the eye often suffered by astronauts over the course of a stay aboard the ISS. Read More
— Good Thinking

SIMVIZ simulates visual impairments with see-through VR display

By - December 22, 2014 5 Pictures
It's hard to appreciate the feeling of living with a visual impairment if you haven't experienced it yourself. The edge blurring of glaucoma or the clouded, fogged-up vision of a cataract, or even the confusing hue-challenged sights of a colorblind person may register on an intellectual level with somebody who has normal vision, but few really "get it" because it's too alien to them. SIMVIZ aims to fix that by attaching a wide-angle camera to a virtual reality headset, to filter the world around you according to any of six visual impairments: colorblindness, glaucoma, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, double vision, and macular degeneration. Read More
— Science

Study finds that retina "language" changes with brightness

By - December 11, 2014 1 Picture
Our eyes extract a lot of information from visible light that enables us to see color, movement, shadows, highlights, shapes, and more, with each component processed separately and sent to the brain in parallel to the others. It was previously thought that the same scene would always be converted into the same pattern of activity. But research by scientists at the University of Tübingen in Germany and the University of Manchester in the UK suggests that the signals differ wildly as the brightness of the environment changes by even small amounts. Read More
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