Senior Health: Gene Therapy Might Just Help Restore Sight, Say Researchers

Senior Health: Gene Therapy Might Just Help Restore Sight, Say Researchers | Aged Care Weekly

Professor Elizabeth Racoczy recently developed a process called gene therapy to restore sight. In fact, this earned her a CSL Florey Medal for lifetime achievement and a $50,000 cash prize. This is certainly another breakthrough that will be beneficial in the senior health industry.

Gene therapy will allow seniors to enjoy an improved quality of life through better vision.

How Does Gene Therapy Benefit Senior Health?

The process turns eye cells into biofactories. In turn, they are able to make their own medications on the spot. The researchers used a modified virus to carry a gene into the cells of the eye. This eliminates the need to undergo frequent, painful, and costly eye injections. Professor Elizabeth spearheaded the first gene therapy trial in the world. It involved a patient with wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the main cause of blindness among the elderly. Gene therapy reverses vision loss, plus it only requires one injection. Hence, it gives hope to the elderly who want to spend the rest of their lives with vivid eyesight. The senior health industry will be only one among the many benefactors of this advancement.

Gene Therapy Will Be Helpful In Australia’s Senior Health Industry

Particularly, Australia’s senior health industry is among the many sectors in the world that can rejoice at this development. There are about 112,000 elderly Australians with wet AMD. This is the most devastating type of AMD, and around 8,000 cases seek treatment each year. Each treatment is about $2,000 and a patient should have between 6-8 treatments per year. So, this is really good news for the elderly population in Australia. Definitely, gene therapy is an alternative solution that will help cut expensive treatments.

Senior Health: Eyecare Tips for Adults Over 60

Vision is among the leading concerns in senior health. While many believe that eyesight impairment is part of the ageing process, it is actually not the case. In reality, vision impairment or loss is a result of eye injuries, diseases, or both. Adults who are 60 and over still have some control over how long they will enjoy clear vision. They just need to be extra careful and commit to taking care of their health.

Here are some eye care tips to prevent having to undergo treatments like gene therapy:

1. Avoid falling and other possible causes of eye injuries

Many eye injuries occur at home. Obviously, it may seem ridiculous to always wear protective eyeglasses 24/7. So, just follow simple precautions instead. Make sure that your house is slip-proof. These include the rugs and shower mats etc. Regularly check railings to ensure they are not loose. Additionally, cushion the edges of home fixtures and furniture.

2. Discuss your health problems with your eye doctor

There are several diseases that affect eye health. These include diabetes and high blood pressure. These illnesses impair the ability to see clearly. If this happens frequently, inform your eye M.D. about your health condition, diet, sleep patterns and other lifestyle factors.

3. Exercise

The eyes need good oxygen intake and good blood circulation. Regular exercise stimulates these functions. Therefore, having a regular exercise routine can help prevent eyesight loss. Likewise, systemic health problems affecting eye health can also be avoided. For example, bring a pair of sunnies to protect the eyes when exercising under the sun.

4. Get Enough Sleep At Night

During sleep the eyes clear of irritants such as allergens, smoke, or dust that has accumulated throughout the day. Moreover, your peepers enjoy continuous lubrication during sleep. People with insomnia often do not get these benefits. So, it is best to do activities that promote a good night’s sleep. Regular exercise, good diet, and lifestyle choices are some of these.

Final Thoughts About Gene Therapy for Senior Health

Gene therapy is indeed a breakthrough in the senior health industry. Moreover, it is undeniably helpful for the elderly population. Besides not having to pay for repetitive costly eye injections, it allows them to enjoy the gift of good sight. Generally, seniors will benefit from an improved quality of life through better vision.


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