Research shows stem cells can help you see again

contact lenses
Posted at 5:45 PM, Feb 27, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-27 14:54:49-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL)--Set your sights on this. Tallahassee eye doctor Richard Hamilton says a revolutionary step in science could help people see again.

"One gentleman actually went from being legally blind able to get a driver's license,"said Hamilton.

This new technology focuses on the eye's cornea. It's the clear layer that protects your eye.

Researchers have now found that stem cells can be used to repair damaged corneas, giving patients a new opportunity to see.

"In the research, they have given people back their sight where they were seeing nothing to actually seeing objects and shapes and lights,"said Dr. Hamilton. They're very happy about that."

Dr. Hamilton says it's even easy on the eyes no surgery, nothing invasive. The stem cells are infused in a contact lense.

"Some cells are take from the good eye grown in a petri dish in a matrix that will look like a contact lense be placed on the patients eye that have been damaged," said Dr. Hamilton.

He says within a couple of weeks the cells reproduce, regrow, then heal the eye. He says research is happening in the United Kingdom.

"I think it's absolutely fantastic, definitely on the cutting edge of genetics and research is able to do, still has a way to make it to the masses but it's definitely on the way," said Hamilton.

Some advancements he says are coming to fruition in the U.S., contact lenses loaded with drugs to treat allergies, conjunctivitus or possibly glaucoma.

"The patient can put that in for "x" number of days instead of putting drop after drop in their eyes," said Hamilton.

Scientists with their eyes on a new frontier, paving the way to improve the life of millions.