Bionic eye with better vision than humans coming in five years

Prototype bionic leg could revolutionize prosthetics

Engineers at the Bionic Engineering Lab at the University of Utah are creating new tech that may make traditional prosthetics a thing of the past.

The world's first 3D artificial eyeball – capable of outperforming the human eye in some ways — may help droves of people who are partially or fully blind in as little as five years, according to experts.

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Researchers from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology have devised an electrochemical eye whose structure and performance mimic those of the ones humans are born with.

"The device design has a high degree of structural similarity to a human eye with the potential to achieve high imaging resolution when individual nanowires are electrically addressed," researchers of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology wrote in a paper published in the journal Nature.

The device converts images through tiny sensors that mirror the light-detecting photoreceptor cells in a human eye, The Sun reported. Those sensors reside within a membrane made of aluminum and tungsten which is shaped into a half sphere for the purpose of mimicking a human retina.


The retina is the eye's innermost layer of tissue, which translates images into electrical neural impulses to the brain in order to create visual perception.

The rubberised head of Ai-Da, a humanoid robot capable of drawing people from life using her bionic eyes and hand, is painstakingly given lifelike features by Mike Humphrey, a specialist at robotics company Engineered Arts, in Falmouth, Cornwall, Bri

A bionic eye, otherwise known as a visual prosthesis, is an experimental device that's intended to help restore sight for people who are visually impaired.

Creating such a device with image-sensing characteristics such as an extremely wide field of view and high resolution has presented a significant challenge for scientists due to the spherical shape and the retina of the biological eye.

The latest development addresses that and "could lead to a bionic eye,” Professor Zhiyong Fan, of Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, told The Sun. “I think if everything is on track, perhaps in five years, the technology will become practical."


Aside from helping individuals improve their vision, experts claim the work may even help create additional biomimetic photosensing devices that could be used in a "wide spectrum of technological applications."

Animal and clinical trials are now being planned, Fan said.


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The Best Eye Drops for Relieving Allergies and Redness

Sometimes, your seasonal allergies are pretty well under control—you’re taking your meds regularly and you’re not sneezing up a storm. But your eyes are still itchy and red. Other times, you seem to have no symptoms of seasonal allergies at all—no feeling fuzzy, no stuffed or runny nose—yet your eyes get super itchy and red when you’ve been outdoors. Maybe they tear up or get watery, too.

And in other cases, eye allergies aren’t related to seasonal allergies at all. Allergic conjunctivitis, as doctors call it, can occur at any time of year, sometimes due to dust mites or animal dander.

Many allergy sufferers find that taking their oral meds or nasal steroid spray controls the eye symptoms. But sometimes they don’t, and eye drops might help. One of the benefits of eye drops for allergic eye symptoms is that “they have a quick onset of action,” explains Courtney Jackson Blair, M.D., vice president of the Greater Washington Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Society and owner of Allergy and Asthma Associates in Virginia. So you feel relief—and stop rubbing your eyes—without too much delay.

There are many allergy eye drops at the drugstore and available by prescription. Here’s how to navigate the options.

Over-The-Counter Allergy Eye Drops

On the shelf at your drugstore, you’ll generally find two types of products: Those containing ketotifen, and those containing a combination of drugs called pheniramine maleate and naphazoline hydrochloride. It’s a mouthful, but here’s what to know about each, plus what to know about prescription eye drops:

Eye drops containing ketotifen

This drug is an antihistamine, meaning it blocks symptoms by blocking receptors for histamine, a chemical that you make during an allergic reaction which causes those familiar allergy symptoms. It’s also what’s called a mast cell stabilizer, which means it blocks chemicals including histamine from being produced in the first place.

Find them in products including: Zaditor, Alaway, and Eye Itch Relief by Rite Aid.

Eye drops containing pheniramine maleate and naphazoline hydrochloride

We’re not expecting you to remember those names, so bookmark this page when you go to the drugstore so you can match them to the products on the shelf that contain them. This is a combination antihistamine (pheniramine maleate) and decongestant (naphazoline hydrochloride).

The only challenge with decongestants, which act as redness reducers, is that “sometimes the redness reducer will cause a rebound effect,” says Dr. Jackson Blair. “The redness can come back worse than it was before.” Also, eye drops with a decongestant can increase eye pressure, so patients with glaucoma should avoid this group of eye drops.

Find these drugs in: Naphcon A, Visine Allergy Eye Relief Multi-Action, and Walgreen’s Eye Allergy Relief.

Prescription allergy eye drops

There are a whole host of options in prescription eye drops, from mast cell inhibitors to antihistamines of different types. If your eyes aren’t easily soothed by over-the-counter problems, it’s worth seeing an allergist. One of the many reasons—not just so you get the right drops—is that they can help you figure out what specifically is causing the reaction and you can try to reduce your exposure to it. Finally, in limited instances, a prescription steroid (such as Alrex or Lotemax) may be used for more severe symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis. Steroids however, should be used cautiously as they can also increase the risk for glaucoma and cataracts. If used for more than a week it is advisable to also have an optometrist or ophthalmologist assist in the management, explains Kirk Waibel, M.D., former Allergy Consultant to the Army Surgeon General, now at Aspire Allergy & Sinus in San Antonio, TX.

Tips for using allergy eye drops

Use these tips from Dr. Waibel to get the most from the allergy eye drops you use:

In addition to taking drops, washing your eyes with cold water or using a cold washcloth after time outdoors can also help reduce itchy, watery allergy eye symptoms.

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