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A Real Eye Opener

A Real Eye Opener

Life Line with Dr. Cameron

Currently around 12 million people in the USA are age 50 or older. In 50 years that number is expected to be over 20 million. Those of us who are over the age of 40 know all too well what age does to our eyes. The quality of vision decreases and our eyelids become droopy to name a few. There are new advances in technology which may be making an impact combating these changes.

A new study out of England has proven that the eye loses 70% of function by the time you have reached the age of 65. This study looked at the main cause behind this and found that certain cells in the eye lose the ability to maintain energy levels needed to sustain good vision. This is not a disease process but an aging process. So what can you do about aging?  Well, this study also found these energy losing cells can be recharged like a battery.  Researchers used a certain wavelength of light to recharge these aging cells. The study included people of ages ranging from 20 to 65. Those over the age of 40 benefitted the most by regaining 20% or greater visual function. The technology behind the therapy will not be available to the general public for some time. 

The eyelid is also affected by aging. The skin becomes looser and the lids begin to sag.  This is called blepharoptosis.  When someone has acquired blepharoptosis, also known as “Droopy Eyelid”, it may impact how well a person can see, and how that person sees him or herself. When droopy eyelid affects vision, it can interfere with day-to-day functions, such as reading, driving, and computer use. It may cause one to strain by constantly having to tilt one’s head in order to see around the saggy lid. Droopy eyelid can impact not only vision but also appearance, which can be distressing to some by also affecting our mental health. Our mental health is just as important.  

Droopy eyelid may result from an underlying issue requiring additional medical attention, such as in neurologic conditions. It’s important to be examined by an eye care provider to establish the cause and effect of droopy lids on your vision.  In the past, the only available treatment for droopy eyelid was surgery, which was reserved for severe cases only. A severe case is classified as having vision obstructed in a way that limits daily functioning.  For those who are looking for treatment options and are not classified as severe, help is now available.

A newly FDA approved eye drop called “UPNEEQ” can be used to treat droopy lids. UPNEEQ is the first and only topical treatment option for adults with droopy eyelid. The drop stimulates the muscle in the eyelid to contract and this effectively causes the lid to lift.  The drop is administered once a day and starts working within 20 minutes. The effects lasted between 6-8 hours in the study group. There are some contraindications to use so make sure you fully disclose all medical conditions when talking to your eye care provider.

We may not be able to reverse the aging process, but we can give you a youthful Lift. 

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