“Smart” glasses that could slow down sight loss

Scientists have developed glasses with “rings” in the lenses to stop or slow the progression of myopia, or nearsightedness, where distant objects appear blurry.

The concentric rings are designed to focus light on the retina, making images clearer and in doing so, slowing down the rate at which the eyeball changes shape – a hallmark of nearsightedness.

In a Chinese study, 167 children who wore glasses for 12 hours a day saw up to 70% slowing the progression of their myopia after two years.

Myopia is more and more frequent. In the UK, it affects almost 40% of the population, up from around 27% in the 1970s.

It occurs when the eyeball becomes too long and becomes oval in shape rather than round. This changes the way light hits the retina, the light-sensitive cells at the back of the eye that send the visual images we see to the brain.

Scientists have developed glasses with “rings” in the lenses to stop or slow the progression of myopia, or nearsightedness, where distant objects appear blurry. A stock image is used above

The elongated eyeball causes light to focus in front of the retina, meaning nearby objects are clear and focused, but those farther away appear blurry.

It is not known exactly why nearsightedness occurs. Genes play a role, but environmental factors are also involved, given the sharp increase in cases in recent years.

Little time spent outdoors is thought to feature. One theory is that bright light triggers the release of dopamine (a chemical messenger) from the retina, which can stop the eye from lengthening.

The problem can be made worse by focusing on phone screens or reading for long periods of time.

Glasses help, but stopping or slowing the progression of myopia has been the holy grail of eye research. Special contact lenses can be effective, but they are not suitable for everyone, especially children.

Stellest glasses look like ordinary glasses but use HALT (highly aspherical lenslet target) technology, consisting of 11 rings of 1 mm inside the lenses.

According to the manufacturer, “the power of each ring has been ingeniously determined to guarantee a signal volume always in front of the retina and according to its shape, in order to obtain a constant slowing down of myopia”.

The problem can be made worse by focusing on phone screens or reading for long periods of time.  Glasses help, but stopping or slowing the progression of myopia has been the holy grail of eye research

The problem can be made worse by focusing on phone screens or reading for long periods of time. Glasses help, but stopping or slowing the progression of myopia has been the holy grail of eye research

In myopia, when the outer areas of the retina detect blurry light from distant objects, the eyeball responds by lengthening to sharpen the images.

But the more we try to focus on these images, the more important and rapid the progression of myopia.

Stellest lenses stop this by changing the nature of the light that reaches the periphery of the retina. The rings are oval in shape to reflect the shape of the eyeball, which is believed to focus light rays better on the retina.

In a study from Wenzhou Medical University in China, 167 children wore the glasses for at least 12 hours a day and found that they slowed the progression of myopia by 67% on average after two years.

After the first year, eye growth in 90 percent of children wearing glasses was similar to or slower than that of children without myopia. Two-thirds did not need a prescription change, it was reported at the recent Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology conference.

Manufacturer Essilor plans to roll out Stellest specifications in other Chinese hospitals, followed by launches in other countries.

Professor Bruce Evans, Research Director at the Institute of Optometry, says: “New lens designs for myopia control, of which Stellest is one, are a game-changer. They greatly facilitate the control of myopia, both for practitioners and for patients.

“On average, children who wear contact lenses will be less myopic and, later in life, they will be less likely to get the eye diseases that can accompany myopia.”

New gene could lead to treatment of endometriosis

Scientists have identified a genetic link with painful endometriosis, where tissue similar to the uterus begins to grow elsewhere in the body. This can lead to fertility problems.

The disease is currently being treated with hormone therapy and surgery.

Now scientists from the University of Oxford and the United States have discovered a gene called NPSR1 which is linked to the disease. This could lead to the development of new drugs and treatments to deal with it.

They analyzed the DNA of 32 families where at least three women suffered from the disease, and then compared it to the DNA of monkeys who suffered from it.

The two groups shared variants of the NPSR1 gene, reports the journal Science Translational Medicine.

Patch remover to reverse baldness

Can a patch remover help cure a common cause of baldness?

Hair loss in both men and women is often caused by a lack of blood vessels supplying nutrients to hair follicles and damage to hair cells caused by molecules called free radicals.

Scientists at Zhejiang University in China have developed a dissolving patch containing hyaluronic acid (a natural substance that lubricates the joints and helps form new blood vessels) and chemical cerium (which sponges the joints. toxic molecules).

The patch delivers the drugs through tiny needles, which also stimulate blood flow. Writing in the journal ACS Nano, the researchers said that the mice given the patches had faster hair regrowth compared to a standard topical treatment, minoxidil.

Why owning a garden is good for you

Whether you’re digging, pruning, or just sitting there reading a book, spending time in your yard could help protect you from heart attacks and other causes of premature death.

That’s the conclusion of a study from Imperial College London, which followed 233,000 Britons for over a decade to see who died prematurely and what caused it.

Researchers found that people who spent time in their own gardens were much less likely to die prematurely from several non-traumatic causes, such as heart and respiratory disease, than those who did not.

“Our finding that private residential gardens have made significant contributions to associations protecting total green space and premature mortality has implications for greening policies,” said a report in Environmental Health Perspectives, which recommended addressing inequalities.

A gel containing folic acid should be tested as a treatment for canker sores. The Dow University of Health Sciences in Pakistan will ask 75 patients to rub the gel for seven days. Previous studies have shown that a deficiency of B vitamins, including B9 (folic acid), can contribute to canker sores. It is believed that folic acid helps create a protective layer in the lining of the mouth.

Isolate before the operation but it is VITAL to continue exercising

Patients who self-isolate before surgery to reduce their risk of Covid should stay active, as one study found isolation was linked to a 20% increase in postoperative lung problems.

Those who isolated for eight days or more before an operation had the highest risk (31 percent), reports the journal Anesthesia.

Doctors said the discovery, based on data from 96,000 patients in 1,600 hospitals around the world, could be due to patients not exercising. Being in good shape promotes recovery.

Aneel Bhangu, University of Birmingham surgeon and lead author of the study, said: “Isolation can mean that patients reduce their physical activity, have worse nutritional habits and suffer from higher levels of anxiety and of depression. “

dental truths

Dental hygiene adjustments that could make the difference. This week: don’t bite your nails

Biting your nails when stressed can be bad for your dental health (besides making your nails look messy).

“By biting our nails, we transfer bacteria from the underside of the nail to our gums,” says Oga Eze, a dentist based in Essex.

Rough nail edges can also tear your gum tissue. This in turn can promote tooth decay and increase the risk of gum infection.

Dr Eze suggests trying to find “a substitute for biting your nails, like squeezing a stress ball.”

Small adjustments

Keep your back straight when jogging to help prevent knee pain, suggest researchers at the University of Colorado at Denver in the United States. They found that the angle of the upper torso to the legs can affect the risk of injury – the more a person leans forward, the shorter the stride and the greater the impact on the joints.

Scientists say it may be because the legs have to swing faster when the feet are off the ground, which could cause more damage.

What’s inside ?

We reveal the ingredients of everyday health products. This week: Vicks VapoRub

LEVOMENTHOL: It is a version of menthol, an alcohol naturally found in mint leaves, which has soothing and anti-irritant properties.

EUCALYPTUS OIL: Known as a “mucolytic” agent, it contains a compound called cineole which helps make the mucus in your lungs less sticky and therefore easier to cough up. It also acts as a scent.

CAMPHOR: Found in rosemary leaf oil and now artificially made, it provides a feeling of freshness and has been shown in trials to relieve congestion and inflammation.

TERÉBENTINE OIL: An organic compound distilled from trees, it is used as a solvent to create a smooth rub gel.

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