Bugs in your eyes may be a good thing. Resident microbes living on the eye are essential for immune responses that protect the eye from infection, new research shows. The study, which appears in the journal Immunity on July 11, demonstrates the existence of a resident ocular microbiome that trains the developing immune system to fend off pathogens. The research was conducted at the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health.
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Recent strides toward understanding dry eye are leading to better and longer-lasting therapies for the millions of people in the U.S. who are affected by the condition.
Current therapies for dry eye provide symptomatic relief: steroids control inflammation, antibiotics counter infection, and artificial tears replenish moisture. But such approaches give only short-term relief for some people and require frequent reapplication. They also fail to address the underlying causes of dry eye.
An international study of more than 5,417 people helps pinpoint the genetic risk factors associated with Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy, the most common disorder requiring corneal transplantation. The discovery of gene variants illuminates the biological mechanisms for the disorder, which affects 4 percent of people age 40 and older. The study appears in Nature Communications and was funded by the National Eye Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health.
For some people it feels like a speck of sand in the eye, or stinging or burning that doesn’t go away. For others, dry eye disease (or simply dry eye) can become a chronic condition that leads to blurred vision or even vision loss if it goes untreated.
Researchers report that donor-recipient tissue typing had nosignificant long-term effect on the success of corneal transplantationin a nationwide clinical study of over 400 patients at high risk forrejection. The results of this National Eye Institute-supportedresearch were published today in the Archives of Ophthalmology.
The age pool of corneas for transplant should be expanded to include donors up to 75 years of age, based on findings from a study funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), one of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Corneal transplants using tissue from older donors have similar rates of survival to those using tissue from younger donors.
Around Halloween time, health experts fear that consumers will harm their eyes with unapproved decorative contact lenses. These are contact lenses that some people use to temporarily change their eye color or to make their eyes look weird — for example, giving them an “eye-of-the-tiger” look. Dr. Rachel Bishop, chief of the Consult Service at the National Eye Institute, talks with Joe Balintfy of NIH Radio about this potentially harmful practice.
Balintfy: Health experts warn that one part of a Halloween costume comes with three serious risks.
Ten years after a transplant, a cornea from a 71-year-old donor is likely to remain as healthy as a cornea from a donor half that age, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. Corneas from donors over age 71 perform slightly less well, but still remain healthy for the majority of transplant recipients after 10 years, the study found.