Retinopathy of Prematurity (ROP) News

How Does Technology Help People with Blindness?

Bloomberg recently published an article discussing how technology can improve the quality of life for people with blindness. The fact that the article was written by a blind person proves technology can help with daily tasks. In this case, the author describe writing with a customized PC that enlarges icons and text. It is one example of many technologies that can help people with blindness. Others include the following: Magnifying text: Tablets and smartphones can use apps to work as magnifiers. In the Bloomberg article, the author mentions how they use these apps to read restaurant menus, signs and other important information. Apps like Make it Big or LargeType are examples. Giving directions: Some smartphone and tablet apps like BlindSquare use GPS and voice guidance to provide detailed directions for people with blindness. Depending on the app, users receive turn-by-turn directions that help with navigation. Future apps may offer directions…
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Why Do Preemies Need Treatment for ROP?

Premature or low-birth weight babies are at-risk for developing retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). ROP occurs because blood vessels in the eyes develop outside of the womb. These conditions are not optimal, and with ROP, blood vessels grow abnormally. If left untreated, this abnormal growth may cause retinal detachment and permanent blindness. ROP may also resolve on its own without treatment. However, there is no way for doctors to know beforehand if ROP will not progress. Once ROP reaches a certain threshold, the risk of retinal detachment and blindness increase substantially. For these reasons, it is very important for preemies to receive treatments like laser therapy, which stop abnormal blood vessel growth and prevent blindness. What Can Happen When Preemies Do Not Receive Treatment for ROP? It helps to understand what happens when preemies do not receive treatment for ROP. The consequences of not receiving treatment are very apparent in the…
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Will Stem Cells Become a Treatment for Blindness?

Recent studies suggest stem cells may be a useful treatment for blindness in the near future. Two recent studies suggest stem cells have potential for treating conditions that cause retinal degeneration. Scientists with the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Japan used adult stem cells taken from mice to grow new retina tissue. This tissue was then transplanted into mice with late-state retinal degeneration. After the procedure, the scientists tested the mice to see if their vision was restored. According to the results, 40 percent of the mice regained the ability to see light after one month. However, the researchers were quick to note that it may be many years before this treatment is tested on humans. Another study recently published in Cell Stem Cell carried out a similar procedure on mice. These scientists found a way to prevent the immune system from rejecting stem cells used to rebuild photoreceptors,…
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