Visual Impairment And Cell Therapy
Fighting Visual Impairment With Cell Therapy
Globally, 253 million people are estimated to be living with visual impairment of which, 36 million are blind, and the remaining have moderate to severe vision loss.
The World Health Organization (WHO)  estimates that 80% of all people with vision loss or with moderate to severe visual impairment are persons aged 50 years and above.
This is a major concern since as the population ages; more individuals will be prone to vision impairment because of enduring eye infections.
Could Cell Therapy Help with Visual impairment?
Cell Therapy is a promising treatment option for people with visual impairment.
Physicians have demonstrated that this is a viable option and it can be used in areas where the use of medication or surgery has not yielded positive results.
In this case, cell therapy can rectify the defective function of photoreceptors in the retina, the optic nerve, and ganglion cells.
Furthermore, promising results have been obtained from the use of cell therapy to treat optic nerve hypoplasia. The treatment involved the implantation of live cells by using intra-muscular injection (IM).
This resulted in improved vision as the cells regenerated and released neutrophic factors, which helped in suppressing inflammation in the affected area.
> Fighting Macular Degeneration With Cell Therapy
> Glaucoma – The Sneak Thief Of Sight
> Optic Nerve Hypoplasia – Overcoming Vision Impairment
What Is Visual Impairment?
Visual impairment refers moderate to severe reduction in a person’s vision ability.
As a result, they are unable to perform their usual visual functions. For example, they might have trouble in perceiving specific colors (color blindness), majorly green and red.
Other persons might experience contrast sensitivity.
That is, they have challenges in identifying and distinguishing objects for example, in a foggy environment. In this case, they may be unable to distinguish between the object and the fog.
Visual impairment is treatable and preventable in most cases.
Based on the International Classification of Diseases  e vision function is categorized into four classifications, namely: normal vision, moderate vision impairment, severe vision loss, and blindness.
The last three make up all the cases of visual impairment and are termed as “low vision.”
Visual Impairment Diagnosis
Diagnosis of visual impairment may entail low vision check-up or general examination.
The former is goal-oriented, and the physician looks at specific aspects such as what challenges the patient is facing (reading, observing street signs).
In this case, various optical and non-optical aids will be tested. For example, reading charts are used, and the distance and size of the letters are varied to gauge the extent of the vision problem.
An ophthalmologist may also examine the patient’s case history, eye health, and visual status.
What Causes Visual Impairment ?
According to the latest approximations by WHO, the chief causes of moderate to severe visual impairment are as follows:
- Uncorrected refractive errors
- Cataracts (un-operated)
- Macular Deterioration
- Diabetes Mellitus
On the other hand, the main cause of blindness includes un-operated cataract, uncorrected refractive error, and glaucoma.
Other causes of visual impairment include infections such as trachoma, leprosy, and herpes simplex keratitis.
Visual Impairment Symptoms
The symptoms of visual impairment vary greatly from one person to another, and this is dependent on its severity.
For instance, a patient might experience blurred vision, and this may be a sign of a cataract.
Other patients may have misaligned vision, that is, misalignment of the line of sight might be experienced in one of the eyes.
Other symptoms include persistent itchy eyes, light sensitivity, white regions in the pupil, and a sudden change in vision among others.
The prevalence of visual impairment has dramatically reduced over the last quarter of a century.
It is attributed to factors such as increased access to eye care facilities, overall improvement in social-economic development and general public awareness regarding solutions available to eye problems.
Currently, extensive research has proven cell therapy to be safe and effective of using new cells for the treatment of optic nerve-related diseases.
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