A new clinical trial is testing the effectiveness of a cataracts treatment which could be revolutionary for treating sight loss.
Thirty patients with cataracts aged 65 and over will participate in the first human trial of the treatment, which sees an implant injected into the eyeball.
People could avoid cataracts surgery entirely thanks to an injectable 'pellet', which slowly releases antioxidants and lowers calcium levels in the eye to prevent and even treat the condition, which is the world's leading cause of blindness.
The treatment has been developed by US-based company Nacuity Pharmaceuticals. Animal trials of the treatment in 2018 showed very promising results, both preventing and treating the severity of cataracts.
Currently, one in three people aged 65 and up has cataracts in one or both eyes. These cloudy patches develop with age and can worsen with smoking or drinking too much. Cataracts are also associated with conditions such as diabetes.
Treating cataracts usually requires a 30 minute operation where a surgeon must cut into the eye and replace the natural lens with a plastic one. More than 350,000 cataracts operations are performed in the UK every year.
You can reduce your risk of cataracts by having regular eye examinations, quitting smoking, and even wearing sunglasses during hot and sunny weather.
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This year has seen some breakthrough treatments for sight loss patients. Just last week, a trial with the experimental gene editing technology CRISPR enabled a number of volunteers to see vivid colours for the first time.
Patient Michael Kalberer said he had a 'breakthrough' on the dancefloor of his cousin's wedding,
"I could see the DJ's strobe lights change colour and identify them to my cousins who were dancing with me. That was a very, vey fun joyous moment."
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