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Artificial Cornea To Reach Patients This Year

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the check-out-my-eye-pod dept.

Medicine 94

kkleiner writes "A German-led team of researchers has developed a new version of an ophthalmological polymer to which the eye will bond and still function normally. 'The new polymer could help restore sight to thousands waiting for corneal transplants around the world. The artificial cornea has passed clinical trials and is ready to see expanded use in patients this year. ... In order to work in the human body, an artificial cornea has to meet some stringent requirements. First, it has to bond to the human eye around its edge. ... The center of the artificial cornea, however, does not promote cell growth and remains clear so that it can be seen through. The artificial cornea also has to move freely with the eyelid and balance moisture on its faces.'"

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94 comments

The future of medicine (5, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490016)

I didn't see this coming.

Re:The future of medicine (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32490048)

Yes, truly visionary.

Re:The future of medicine (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32490386)

That couldn't have been cornea if you tried.

Re:The future of medicine (2, Funny)

kkwst2 (992504) | more than 3 years ago | (#32491888)

That would have been voted higher, but it's only funny in Boston.

Re:The future of medicine (1)

gstoddart (321705) | more than 3 years ago | (#32495860)

That would have been voted higher, but it's only funny in Boston.

Say chowdah, Frenchy. :-P

Re:The future of medicine (1)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490084)

I didn't see this coming.

Well, if you're reading about the Spanish Inquisition, then....shit, I don't know where to take this....

Re:The future of medicine (3, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490094)

Yeah, but are they comfortable? I'm not sure if I would want to trade sight for sore eyes.

Re:The future of medicine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32490504)

I do not see how this was rated 'Flamebait'. I agree that this is a common fear among people going into eye surgery.

Re:The future of medicine (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32490252)

There's nothing to see here... move along

Re:The future of medicine (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#32491026)

In case there are medical complications, I sure hope they have a good lawyer on retina.

Re:The future of medicine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32492932)

I would rather hope they are a good layer on retina, in the first place.

Having a new cornea put in? (2, Insightful)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490092)

So you'd have your cornea removed and a new one put in? As someone who's had many eye injuries in my life, let me be the first to say "ouch".

Re:Having a new cornea put in? (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32490140)

So you'd have your cornea removed and a new one put in? As someone who's had many eye injuries in my life, let me be the first to say "ouch".

Actually, a cornea transplant isn't painful at all. You are asleep for the whole operation...Recovery on the other hand, while not painful to the eye, is a pain in the ass. I had to have such a transplant done due to a degenerative eye disease and I for one would love something like what this article is talking about. It would be much nicer to have the whole cornea replaced instead of just a section of it (which is what I had done, a small section about the size of my pupil was replaced.)

Re:Having a new cornea put in? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32492236)

For my transplant I was only asleep while they immobilized my eye, I was awake for the actual surgery. BTW, your cornea doesn't feel anything, when you "feel" something in your eye or some other similar pain, it's usually your eyelid that actually feels the pain.

Re:Having a new cornea put in? (1)

M8e (1008767) | more than 3 years ago | (#32493290)

BTW, your cornea doesn't feel anything, when you "feel" something in your eye or some other similar pain, it's usually your eyelid that actually feels the pain.

Or in the ass...

Actually, a cornea transplant isn't painful at all. You are asleep for the whole operation...Recovery on the other hand, while not painful to the eye, is a pain in the ass.

Re:Having a new cornea put in? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32490190)

Want to get modded down? Promote tragedy of the commons, lack of empathy, or being a douche.

~There,fixed that for you.

Re:Having a new cornea put in? (4, Informative)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490286)

So you'd have your cornea removed and a new one put in?

Well, given the first corneal transplant [wikipedia.org] was done in *1905*, and was one of the first organ transplants ever performed, yes, that's exactly what would happen.

well first things is a trashed cornea (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490340)

You would most likely have somehow trashed your cornea to even have this kind of thing an option.

Re:well first things is a trashed cornea (2, Informative)

weszz (710261) | more than 3 years ago | (#32494920)

Not necessarily... I'm going to see an eye doc today about intacs for kerataconus (sp?), or the steepening of the eye as a genetic disorder. I have it in just one eye, and I didn't do anything to trash my eye, but a cornea transplant is one possible fix.

For anyone interested in what this looks like, with my left eye closed I get a ghost vision where there are 2 clear images, one is just overlayed on the other... when the TV menu is up, I can read what is on one line, and I also see it on the line just above it as a ghost image... it's odd, but this would be one possible treatment for it.

Re:well first things is a trashed cornea (1)

WhiteDragon (4556) | more than 3 years ago | (#32496914)

I didn't do anything to trash my eye, but a cornea transplant is one possible fix.

Don't forget to ask your doctor about the possibility of an Accomodating IOL [wikipedia.org]. I think they are occasionally prescribed for cataracts so I don't know if they are a good option for you.

Re:well first things is a trashed cornea (1)

weszz (710261) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497892)

interesting, I will have to remember that. thanks!

I just really don't want to go back to contacts... I had LASIK so I wouldn't need them... Didn't know at the time that I should not have been a candidate a few years later...

Right now I was looking into intacs which are plastic semi circle implants in the upper tissue of the eye to flatten it out

Re:Having a new cornea put in? (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#32494590)

I've had two eye surgeries (link [slashdot.org] and link [slashdot.org]), and the first was completely painless. a bit, but the arthritis was excruciating. Also, I had to hold my head down for two weeks after the surgery, and that was no fun at all. But it beat going blind, and I don't have to wear those thick glasses I wore all my life.

I know a guy who will probably cheer this, as he's already had two cornea transplants for some degenerative disease.

OUCH (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#32494612)

What happened to my comment? That should have read:

I've had two eye surgeries (link and link), and the first was completely painless. The second was only painful because I have arthritis in my neck and they bolted my head to the table for the surgery. The eye didn't hurt a bit, but the arthritis was excruciating. Also, I had to hold my head down for two weeks after the surgery, and that was no fun at all. But it beat going blind, and I don't have to wear those thick glasses I wore all my life.

Wierd; I previewed it, too.

But for someone with keratoconus (1)

rutledjw (447990) | more than 3 years ago | (#32495552)

This could be AWESOME! I mean, I can't really complain as a whole. 20 years ago I'd be looking at a corneal transplant, now I can wear gas permeable lenses for the rest of my life sans transplant.

Things like laser eye correction were not a possibility, I wonder if they could attach a "shaped" cornea to help my vision?

Either way, very cool stuff...

Re:Having a new cornea put in? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32520914)

Yeah I've had a cornea transplant...it hurt for many months afterward...about 18 months later its a lot better however and better then being blind.

Puns (3, Funny)

HForN (1095499) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490162)

"The artificial cornea has passed clinical trials and is ready to see expanded use in patients this year. .."
I see what you did there.

Re:Puns (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32490338)

OH! Ha-hah! I get it!

The artificial cornea

expanded use

Because the cornea is part of the eye and the pupils dilate which is expansion!

Oh boy, I'm really tearing up here over these cornea (corny!) jokes! Why, next eye might have to reflect on such light humor!

Eh? Eh? Nudge, nudge, what? :D

Something important to remember (4, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490164)

I read through the whole article until I got near the end. It was only then that I realized that while the article said "cornea" I kept thinking "retina" for some unknown reason. In any case, an artificial cornea is a terrific breakthrough. People who use laser eye surgery to correct their vision can only do so a limited number of times. After that, a cornea would need to be replaced. Ideally, a replacement cornea would be able to correct vision without further adjustments.

More interestingly, an artificial cornea can do things to improve the health of the eye. For example, an artificial cornea could be made to block UV rays or even be polarized. I'm still waiting for telescopic vision corneas but I doubt that will happen. But the idea of having built-in sunglasses is interesting to me... not that I would have it done unless it were necessary to replace my cornea anyway...

Re:Something important to remember (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32490234)

even be polarized

Yes, I'd love to see people standing with their heads at 90 degrees just to be able to use certain ATMs.

Re:Something important to remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32490690)

But think, if you polarized them in different planes, you wouldn't need 3D glasses!

Though you might have to stand on your head to watch it if the images are backwards with respect to your eyes, I suppose.

Re:Something important to remember (4, Funny)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490750)

Wow. Imagine seeing 3D in real life! That would be just awesome!

Re:Something important to remember (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 3 years ago | (#32495038)

Wow. Imagine seeing 3D in real life! That would be just awesome!

Eh, it'd probably be cheaper just to watch Avatar again.

Re:Something important to remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32502096)

Real life IS 3-D

Re:Something important to remember (3, Interesting)

Rigrig (922033) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490726)

You could polarize the eyes differently, so you don't need glasses for 3D movies anymore.

Re:Something important to remember (1)

takev (214836) | more than 3 years ago | (#32492820)

Lets hope that all the theaters are going to the same direction of polarization. Or for that matter the same technology, I would think your polarization would interfere with the polarization of LCD shutter glasses.

Re:Something important to remember (4, Insightful)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490260)

People who use laser eye surgery to correct their vision can only do so a limited number of times. After that, a cornea would need to be replaced. Ideally, a replacement cornea would be able to correct vision without further adjustments.

More importantly, there are a number of diseases related to the cornea that ultimately necessitate a corneal transplant. Technology like this would obviate the need for tissue donation, which is a huge step for people suffering from such illnesses.

Re:Something important to remember (1)

chill (34294) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490950)

What are the average wait times around the world? I had a cornea transplant in the U.S. and my doctor wanted to find the best compatible tissue. Total wait time was 2 weeks from my (and my insurance) saying "do it" and him getting the tissue and actually doing the surgery.

Honestly, with this first being performed in 1905 and being the single most common transplant surgery done in the world, I expected that in any industrialized nation there was an ample supply of donor tissue. In non-industrialized nations I'm not sure the artificial tissue would be any cheaper, but I guess it obviates the need for a donor-bank-recipient network. Just place your order and await FedEx.

Re:Something important to remember (3, Informative)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490976)

Honestly, with this first being performed in 1905 and being the single most common transplant surgery done in the world, I expected that in any industrialized nation there was an ample supply of donor tissue.

It's not so much an issue with tissue availability as it is issues with compatibility, rejection, etc. If you can make an equally capable, synthetic cornea, you can do away with all that, and that strikes me as a substantial win (though, at least at the outset, probably not a win on cost).

I mean, I'm assuming this technology was developed for *some* reason. :)

Re:Something important to remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32492272)

Rejections are nearly a non-issue. Not enough of your body's immune system really interact with your eyes, but you do need to have daily steroid drops to prevent rejections just in case.

Re:Something important to remember (1)

Abcd1234 (188840) | more than 3 years ago | (#32492360)

Maybe that's reason enough, then? *shrug*

I mean, if tissue is readily available (something that doesn't surprise me), tissue matches are easy, and rejection is trivially manageable, what *is* the advantage of artificial corneal implants, aside from the "whoa neat" factor?

Re:Something important to remember (3, Informative)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#32493338)

In diseases like keratoconus [wikipedia.org], a degenerative eye disorder, there are cases in which even transplanted corneas degenerate again in time. A synthetic obviously wouldn't have this problem. I suppose it could also be custom made to the eye making for a better fit than organic parts sliced off of a corpse which are bound to be imperfect. Corneal transplants are rejected in keratoconus cases in roughly about 10% of cases and people who have rejected one graft seem more predisposed to reject following grafts as well. Those people would also be helped by this procedure.
As someone who has (relatively mild at the moment) keratoconus I certainly welcome this news.

Re:Something important to remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32520962)

Yes here in Australia they very rarely attempt more then 3 transplants on the same eye as typically the attempt lasts only a very short time. There are people blind in at least one eye where donar corneas really won't help at all.

Also because its the most common transplant there is a lack of corneas. I was due to get a transplant today...but today am told I will have to wait several more days while they find a cornea.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/06/100608033028.htm

Re:Something important to remember (1)

Nietzsche (1308) | more than 3 years ago | (#32592948)

In case you haven't looked into it, I highly recommend C3R (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keratoconus#Corneal_collagen_crosslinking_with_riboflavin). I also have keratoconus and unfortunately it has now pretty severely degraded my vision. If C3R had been available when I was first diagnosed (about 12 years ago) my corneas would be doing much better right now. The procedure is becoming more common in North America. I had mine done in Toronto (www.bochner.com) but I know that more and more places are starting to do it.

And, regarding the story, I too and very excited by the prospects of it. While C3R has halted the progression of keratoconus, an artificial cornea could greatly improve my vision.

Re:Something important to remember (0)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#32493406)

> I mean, I'm assuming this technology was developed for *some* reason. :)

Because they can patent it?

Re:Something important to remember (2, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#32494828)

probably not a win on cost

A CrystaLens, which replaces the focusing lens behind the iris, will cure nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and cataracts. The surgery cost about $7,000 per eye, which is cheap compared to some surgeries. I imagine this tech would be even cheaper; the CrystaLens was FDA approved in 2003, so is still under patent. They're about $1000 more than the older monofocal IOLs.

Re:Something important to remember (2, Funny)

john83 (923470) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490274)

For example, an artificial cornea could be made to block UV rays or even be polarized. I'm still waiting for telescopic vision corneas but I doubt that will happen. But the idea of having built-in sunglasses is interesting to me... not that I would have it done unless it were necessary to replace my cornea anyway...

Certainly, a UV filter seems plausible to me. However, you normally use two lenses to make a telescope, so unless it could form some very exotic diffractive object, I think you'd need at least a pair of thick glasses to make a telescope. You might be able to make a magnfying glass though.

Re:Something important to remember (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32490376)

But the idea of having built-in sunglasses is interesting to me... not that I would have it done unless it were necessary to replace my cornea anyway...

They have contacts that block UV. I find mine more comfortable than glasses. Still, I wear sunglasses when it's bright.

Re:Something important to remember (2)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 3 years ago | (#32494440)

Sunglasses are much better. I mainly wear mine at night so I can so I can watch you weave then breathe your story lines. I find that when wearing tinted contacts I can not I can not keep track of visions in my eyes so I tend to avoid them.

Besides, people just love to switch the blade with the guy in contacts, oh yes. No danger of that with shades. Rhymes better, too.

Re:Something important to remember (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490392)

if its more reliable/repairable then laser, i can see it become popular.

Re:Something important to remember (1)

weszz (710261) | more than 3 years ago | (#32495232)

intacs are removable... COMPLETELY reversible or tweakable with no tissue removed. Just a very fringe treatment still...

Re:Something important to remember (1)

hitmark (640295) | more than 3 years ago | (#32496324)

to bad they only work for mild nearsightedness.

Re:Something important to remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32497712)

they are also a keratoconus treatment option

Re:Something important to remember (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490568)

If it binds to the eye, I wonder if the same approach can be used for corneal modifications, as a less destructive alternative to laser surgery. I'd love to have a pair of contact lenses that just bonded to my cornea and got replaced in a decade or so if my prescription changed significantly. I also wonder how easy they would be to remove if used in this way. If there is something that's safe to put in the eye, which dissolves the bond, you could just get some eye drops to remove them, have a doctor insert the new ones, and have perfect vision after a relatively simple procedure every few years.

Re:Something important to remember (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32490788)

"More interestingly, an artificial cornea can do things to improve the health of the eye. For example, an artificial cornea could be made to block UV rays or even be polarized."

Both could be done easier by replacing the lens instead. Which might already be done, given there are artificial lens replacements (artificial cataract replacement) which includes corrective lenses (such as Crystalens). According to the wikipedia entry for "intraocular lens", a uv filter has already been done.

You can't do everything of course, given the cornea is responsible for most of the lensing effect in the eye (even more than the lens) but I have pretty shitty vision (my cornea would supposedly collapse) and they recommend the IOL if I ever wanted to get rid of eyeglasses and contacts.
You c

Re:Something important to remember (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490824)

Natural corneas already block UV rays. People with current-gen artificial corneas, at least some of which are UV-transparent, can actually see a tiny bit of UV. Still looks purple, though.

Unless it greatly increases the risk of some kind of eye cancer, I'd probably stick with the UV-transparent ones for the "hey, did you know that UV led is still on?" trick.

Re:Something important to remember (1)

PitaBred (632671) | more than 3 years ago | (#32492926)

Most LEDs run in the IR spectrum, not UV. And without UV filtering, you would have to pay very close attention to wearing sunglasses every time you go outside.

Re:Something important to remember (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | more than 3 years ago | (#32491208)

With this technology there will be no chance for Rowdy Roddy Piper to uncover the alien conspiracy!

Re:Something important to remember (1)

Teckla (630646) | more than 3 years ago | (#32491428)

People who use laser eye surgery to correct their vision can only do so a limited number of times. After that, a cornea would need to be replaced.

I think the majority of such surgeries are LASIK, which reshapes the lens by removing tissue, rather than the cornea.

I believe PRK is similar to LASIK except it reshapes the cornea by removing tissue. I'm not sure why LASIK is so much more popular than PRK.

Any eye surgeons out there care to shed some light on the subject?

Re:Something important to remember (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#32492224)

I believe PRK is similar to LASIK except it reshapes the cornea by removing tissue. I'm not sure why LASIK is so much more popular than PRK.

Recovery time and discomfort. With LASIK you have basic sight back pretty much straight away, and a full recovery in a few days (ie: go in Friday afternoon, be back at work Monday). With PRK you need to assume you'll be out of action for at least full week.

On the other hand, PRK has fewer complications and gives you much more leeway for future surgery.

At least, that's what the folks at the LASIK centre told me (looking to get it done later this year - still haven't decided on PRK vs LASIK).

Re:Something important to remember (1)

drsmithy (35869) | more than 3 years ago | (#32492240)

I believe PRK is similar to LASIK except it reshapes the cornea by removing tissue. I'm not sure why LASIK is so much more popular than PRK.

Forgot to add: I think LASIK is also quite a bit cheaper, since it's much more common - most people are budget driven.

Re:Something important to remember (1)

TheBig1 (966884) | more than 3 years ago | (#32496242)

Forgot to add: I think LASIK is also quite a bit cheaper, since it's much more common - most people are budget driven.

From what I have seen in my area at least, PRK is actually cheaper -- the reason being that there is no need for a microkeratome or Intralase laser to create the flap. Licensing for the Intralase is a couple hundred per patient, and the cost is passed on to you. My PRK surgery was $1600 / eye, whereas LASIK would have been $1800. (Granted, this is in Canada, from a highly respected and reputable surgeon; in the USA YMMV).

Re:Something important to remember (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#32493442)

Be sure to have it done by a qualified professional that thoroughly checks your eyes topology beforehand ! LASIK is contraindicated [helpkeratoconus.com] if you have some condition like keratoconus [wikipedia.org] which can be mild or asymptomatic and undiagnosed. You can ruin your eyes if you have LASIK in this case however, I have seen examples on keratoconus sufferers message boards.

Re:Something important to remember (1)

weszz (710261) | more than 3 years ago | (#32495100)

*raises hand...* Had Lasik 2 years ago, and now have Keratoconus... Turns out I shouldn't have had Lasik done, but I had no idea, and they didn't find it then. It normally shows up mid to late 20's I believe.

Re:Something important to remember (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#32496354)

*raises hand...* Had Lasik 2 years ago, and now have Keratoconus... Turns out I shouldn't have had Lasik done, but I had no idea, and they didn't find it then. It normally shows up mid to late 20's I believe.

Man that sucks. I've heard of people getting it earlier but I first noticed it in my late 20's myself. In hindsight I'm probably lucky to be such a lazy SOB because I kept putting off having LASIC despite my mother's advice to have it done. Oh well, luckily with news like this, riboflavin crosslinking and stemcell research moving ahead in leaps and bounds there's plenty of reason for us to be optimistic.

Re:Something important to remember (1)

weszz (710261) | more than 3 years ago | (#32497804)

no all bad, im my early 30's now, and headed to an eye surgeon in about 2 hours to see what I can do since i think it's still early... heard a bunch about intacs and how they are suppose to help (there is also the possibility that i's not keratoconus, but the version that is made FROM botched LASIK.

either way i'm fairly confident insurance will cover it as a necessary thing to prevent blindness, and they told me they would cover it as long as a doc says it's necessary, so first step make the doc tell them it's necessary (which the doc that did the lasik, but isn't covered by my insurance believes it is), then get a piece of paper from them saying they will cover it, then get it fixed as much as possible...

Re:Something important to remember (1)

TheBig1 (966884) | more than 3 years ago | (#32496320)

On the other hand, PRK has fewer complications and gives you much more leeway for future surgery.

At least, that's what the folks at the LASIK centre told me (looking to get it done later this year - still haven't decided on PRK vs LASIK).

That is why I chose PRK over LASIK. In LASIK the cornea never completely heals, and (according to some studies) only ever regains a small percentage of the strength of an unaltered cornea. For most people this is not an issue, but for me (due to martial arts and an otherwise active lifestyle) I felt that PRK was the better choice. The recovery time is definitely longer, though; it has been over a month and I still am not quite at my BCVA (best corrected visual acuity) of 20/15; I am currently at 20/20+1 in my right eye and 20/25-1 in my left. However, this is still improving slowly; apparently it takes about 6 months for the eyes to completely heal and provide stable vision again.

That being said, I am still quite happy with my choice; while my visual acuity has not yet reached my previous acuity with glasses, I am still seeing better than I ever had before without glasses, and can do things outside without worrying about rain and stuff getting on my glasses. For me, it was worth it, and PRK was the correct decision, but be sure to talk with your surgeon and eye doctor at length about the options, and which is best for you.

Cheers

Re:Something important to remember (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32493248)

LASIK doesn't reshape the lens, only the cornea. The difference between LASIK and PRK is that in LASIK they cut and fold a thin flap off the surface of the cornea, then use the laser to modify the shape (the same as PRK), then place the flap back on top of the operated area. This way the outermost surface of the eye is the same as it was before the surgery, and protects the healing process. PRK is more prone to complications like bacterial infection because the tissue that was burnt by the laser is open to the elements while it heals. My eye surgeon also said that LASIK produces slightly more consistent results. (I've got 20/15 in both eyes now instead of the uncorrectable-by-glasses astigmatic mess I used to have, so I can vouch for it)

Re:Something important to remember (1)

TheBig1 (966884) | more than 3 years ago | (#32496226)

I think the majority of such surgeries are LASIK, which reshapes the lens by removing tissue, rather than the cornea.
I believe PRK is similar to LASIK except it reshapes the cornea by removing tissue. I'm not sure why LASIK is so much more popular than PRK.

Speaking as someone who just went through PRK surgery, I can assure you that you are incorrect. Both LASIK and PRK remove tissue from the cornea; the difference is that in PRK the tissue is removed at the surface, while with LASIK there is a flap on the cornea created and lifted, and tissue is removed underneath the flap.

The reason LASIK is more popular is that it has a faster recovery time and a less painful recovery. Mine was done over a month ago and I am still not quite at full vision (although I had functional vision within about a week). LASIK patients tend to have functional vision within a couple of days, and (if you can believe the literature) have full recovery within a couple of weeks.

Cheers

Re:Something important to remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32496262)

I think the majority of such surgeries are LASIK, which reshapes the lens by removing tissue, rather than the cornea.

I believe PRK is similar to LASIK except it reshapes the cornea by removing tissue. I'm not sure why LASIK is so much more popular than PRK.

Any eye surgeons out there care to shed some light on the subject?

You would be incorrect. A LASIK procedure starts by cutting a flap in the cornea; a thin disc with a small portion connected to the rest of the cornea usually at the top. In the second part of the procedure, this flap is lifted out of the way and a computer controlled laser ablates the tissue beneath the flap. After rinsing the area, the flap is replaced.

The patient will have blurry vision immediately after the surgery but will still be able to see fairly well. By the next day, vision is pretty good, but driving isn't recommended until the day after that. At night, there are slight halos around light sources that persist for 6 months to a year, but generally aren't a problem for driving.

PRK is very similar, but ablates the surface of the cornea directly instead of first creating a flap. This lengthens the healing process to weeks or months.

There is also RK, which involves cutting a spoke like pattern in the cornea and allowing the tissue to expand as it heals. This also takes weeks to heal and generally only one eye is done at a time as a patch needs to be worn during the healing process.

Re:Something important to remember (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32492792)

I thought it was cool when you mentioned polarizing. Built in 3d for that type of projection and no downside otherwise (assuming you have both eyes).

Re:Something important to remember (1)

Genda (560240) | more than 3 years ago | (#32493900)

The cornea is a simple lens and you'd almost certainly have to replace the lens in the eye with a more complex set of optical elements to get telescopic vision. A simpler answer would be to place nano-scale laser arrays on the inner surface of the lens, such that it could paint images directly onto the retina. Having an ultra high performance video imaging system inside your eye would be wicked cool. Now if you want telescopic vision, just get a really good small scope with an imaging device and a transmitter to your eye and let the good times roll.

Re:Something important to remember (1)

CubicleView (910143) | more than 3 years ago | (#32494526)

Something that blocks UV would presumably be damaged by UV. The only workable improvement I can think of at the moment would be in the clarity of the material.

Re:Something important to remember (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#32494776)

People who use laser eye surgery to correct their vision can only do so a limited number of times.

And for the severely myopic it won't give you anywhere near 20/20 vision, unlike a lens implant. The implants are far more expensive and more invasive -- they stick a needle in your eye, turn the focusing lens to mush with ultrasound, suck it out, and put the artificial lens in. The newer lenses actually let you focus. I got one for a cataract (the only way to correct a cataract is a lens replacement) and after wearing very thick glasses all my life for myopia, and later contacts for myopia AND reading glasses for age related farsightedness, I don't need corrective lenses at all, not even reading glasses. The vision in my right eye is still 20/400, but the eye I had the surgery done to is better than 20/20.

There a link to a journal somewhere else in this thread with more info if you're interested.

I'm still waiting for telescopic vision corneas

Your eye actually has two lenses; the cornea, and the lens behind the iris that does the focusing; that's the one they can replace already. I don't see how they could have telescopic eyes, though, although having better than 20/20 vision is pretty damned close.

Cornmeal transplant? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32490178)

Whoa maybe I do have some problem with my cornmea.

CowKing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32490180)

Sounds like a simple cornea cutting that has been done at any "laser" eye surgery, followed by a prosthetic instead of a burn treatment....I bet they keep these on hand in the future for when they screw up the corneal cutting which blinds people.

RE: Artificial Cornea to Reach Patents This Year (1)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490220)

I read that as patents at first, but jokes aside I decided to do a brief search on patents. There seems to be a method out similar to that described in the article, although my guess would be the article is more about the all important application too...
 

Abstract
Germanium-containing organic polymers are obtained by polymerizing 3-trichlorogermylpropionic acid obtained by reacting halogermanium-phosphoric acid complexes with acrylic acid. The polymers are markedly effective in treating opthalmological disorders.
[2/29/1980] http://www.patentstorm.us/patents/4296123/fulltext.html [patentstorm.us]

But I will save judgment there because I do not know the details.
Also in the article:

Storsberg helped develop a new version of an opthalmological polymer which the eye will bond to and still allow to function properly.

Anyone who cannot do a simple spellcheck on that word...haha nevermind I enjoyed the read. (Spelled: ophthalmological [reference.com])

Re: Artificial Cornea to Reach Patents This Year (1)

masterwit (1800118) | more than 3 years ago | (#32490256)

Reply needed sorry:

The patent listed deals a bit with a chemical used by the German scientists, but does not include much outside of that. Still interesting imo...whatever.

This is great news (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32490388)

I've got Keratoconus, a nasty degenerative corneal condition that has to potential to leave me legally bind. This news just made my day!

Re:This is great news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32493286)

Likewise! If this works with my troublesome corneas... Heck YEAH! I would see again...

Fellow keratoconus suferer here. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32493984)

Keratoconous is a nasty piece of work.

Nobody knows why it happens, if I would get a penny for everytime somebody asked me why I have not got laser surgery done I would be richer than the Oracle of Omaha (or just Oracle, to keep in line with the geeky nature of the site).

Keratoconus can't be treated with laser surgery because the cornea is actually deforming, this means that laser surgery may "help" for a short time before your cornea gets worst (actually laser surgery is completely counter indicated for keratoconus patients).

Also the deformation of the cornea with keratoconous is very unkind: while other people with other defects have a smooth cornea the keratoconus patient's cornea deforms in an uneven manner, so contact lenses that would help with other ailments may be completely useless for patients with many keratoconus.

My vision deteriorated rapidely in my 20s, now, a few years later (ahem,ahem) I have been lucky that the defect has not degenerated too fast and I can lead a mostly normal life with glasses (very thick ones) after having tried several times to use contact lenses (hard ones, not the soft variety that some people use even for cosmetic purposes, try a hard lesn that will not stay put and you will not want to use them again).

I can't drive, and that of course imposes lots of limitations (thankfully being relatively succesful in life has menat I move more by plane than by car, so one thing taken one thing gotten).

This is the best news I have had for a while! (even if this is not indicated for keratoconous, I have not RTFA, but I will shortly; this would mean researchers are working on this field and getting results, something particularly tricky for keratoconus patients since the ailment is very rare)

Re:Fellow keratoconus suferer here. (1)

weszz (710261) | more than 3 years ago | (#32495222)

look into intacs, it MAY help.

They are 2 semi circle rings put into the upper layer of the eye to flatten the eye back out. I'm going to talk to a Doc about them this afternoon while I still have one good ey and one double vision one...

FINALLY! A solution to my pain... (1)

adosch (1397357) | more than 3 years ago | (#32491098)

I can finally get replacement eyes for all the stupid acts of humanity I've witnessed in my short lifetime that have dulled my sensitivity to this world.

Re:FINALLY! A solution to my pain... (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 3 years ago | (#32493210)

I can finally get replacement eyes for all the stupid acts of humanity I've witnessed in my short lifetime that have dulled my sensitivity to this world.

Replacement corneas cannot make you forget the time you were tricked into clicking that Goatse link.

Re:FINALLY! A solution to my pain... (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#32495274)

Just buy a pair of rose colored glasses.

BTW, they can't replace your whole eye, but you can already get the lens behind yor iris replaced.

Corneas are a scam (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32491216)

I can see right through them!

Attention Space Nutters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32491870)

This is an example of something that doesn't require space and has 14 billion potential sales. This is why Space Nuttery is DEAD. BIOTECH is the future.

Imagine corneas grown in a lab from your own cells, in your local mall.

Much more important than mining asteroids for water, when there's already 10x10^18 kg of water here on Earth.

Re:Attention Space Nutters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32492526)

AH but did you know that the technology use to perfect this technique was itself perfected on the ISS? It could be true, I said it here first, artificial corneas are a direct result of space research...

Re:Attention Space Nutters (1)

Jesus_666 (702802) | more than 3 years ago | (#32494600)

This is an example of something that doesn't require space and has 14 billion potential sales. This is why Space Nuttery is DEAD. BIOTECH is the future.

Phh. Do you have any idea how big the market for Philips screws is? Biotech is dead. The steel industry's the future.

Imagine corneas grown in a lab from your own cells, in your local mall.

Finally, the news keratoconus sufferers have been waiting for! Also, I'm itching to find out how they will manufacture abiological components from my own cells.

Much more important than mining asteroids for water, when there's already 10x10^18 kg of water here on Earth.

Again, biotech is useless. Do you have any idea how many tons of biomass we have? Much, much more than we have Philips screws - and also much more than we have space stations. There's simply no demand for more biomass.

Re:Attention Space Nutters (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32495256)

Idiot. The pattern of the biomass is the product. We don't need raw materials from space. It's a dead end, an expensive, psychotic, useless dead end.

We are getting better at PATTERNS in matter. This is what the deluded Space Nutters refuse to understand, hiding behind their 50 year old fantasies.

Put down the Tom Swift, pick up the Craig Venter.

We are One (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#32492070)

Yes! One more step closer to a Utopian Borg society.
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