Health & Fitness | May 16, 2017 2:56 pm

Scientists Develop Eye Drops to Treat Age-Related Blindness

The drops are a welcome alternative to costly and painful injections, which are made directly into the eye.

Age-related blindness can now be treated with eye drops instead of painful and expensive injections.

Scientists at the University of Birmingham’s Institute of Inflammation and Aging have developed a new form of treatment for age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition that leads people to gradually lose their central vision.

Biochemist Dr. Felicity de Cogan and her team manufactured eye drops that use a cell-penetrating peptide (CPP), which takes only a few minutes to deliver the drug to the affected area. Their findings, published Tuesday in the Investigative Opthalmology and Visual Science, showed the method to be as effective as injections.

Prior to the eye drops, AMD was treated through injections directly into the eye, made on a monthly basis over three years.

Aside from being painful, the injections can cause tearing and infections inside the eye, which can actually raise the risk of blindness.

AMD affects more than 600,00 people in the United Kingdom, but that number is expected to rise sharply with a growth in the aging population.