Science Briefs – Edition 21

What's Inside

  • Eye drops recalled after causing blindness in some and one death.
  • The cost of blindness.
  • And, a few other articles we hope you find interesting.

Editorial By Chris Hofstader

Welcome to edition 21 of Science Briefs. We had a problem with the GoogleAlerts I use to build this and Blindness Briefs each week. For no reason apparent to me, there were a few days in which I received no GoogleAlerts (we have about 25 set up) so my primary source of stories for Science Briefs stopped working consistently. I've contacted the support group at GoogleAlerts via email from the my alerts page but, as of this writing, have not heard back from them. To ensure this doesn't happen again, we have other people with the same GoogleAlerts set up and when they break for one of us, we have at least two others who will have them, we're pretty flexible at World Blind Herald and came up with a back-up plan as soon as we noticed the problem.

Another reason for the lack of stories this week is that I only include one article about a particular story in any given week and the science and medicine news about blindness was dominated by the single story about an over the counter eye drop causing blindness in a lot of its users and death in one case. This is a horrific story and is why we always include the disclaimer telling our readers to not try to use any medical intervention mentioned online anywhere without first consulting a real ophthalmologist.

So, there are only four stories in Science Briefs this week but I hope you find them interesting.

If you're a subscriber and would like to get fewer emails, go to the subscriber settings in the emails you receive from WBH and click the link. This will permit you to get everything in digest form and only get a single email containing everything we post in a week. This week, we'll have four posts and if you would prefer only one email, check out the digest feature.


World Blind herald does not write the stories to which we link in Science Briefs, we gather them, curate them and bring them to our readers. We are not scientists ourselves and cannot guarantee the validity of the stories in this digest. We do, however, want to be very clear that you should not attempt any of the medical interventions mentioned in Science Briefs without first consulting a professional ophthalmologist and discussing it with them. Do not take medical advice from this or any other web site or podcast without first consulting a professional.

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Science and Medicine

Vision Impairment Found in More Than a Quarter of Older US Adults

This study aimed to give a national estimate of VI and blindness in the United States using testing of visual function. This story comes to us from: American Journal of Managed Care.

Eye Drops Linked To Infections, Blindness

According to the media, the manufacturer of eye drops sold under the name Ezri Care withdrawn them from the market on Thursday due to the possibility that the drops may have been contaminated by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a type of bacteria that is typically drug-resistant. There have been at least 55 bacterial illnesses linked to the use of EzriCare artificial tears in 12 states across the US. Five of these people have lost their Eye Drops vision as a result of their condition. As a result of the bacterium entering the bloodstream of one person, that person died. This story comes to us from: Chiang Rai Times.

Eyes, serious or moderate problems for 19% of Italians (and 42% of over 75s

Among the main causes: glaucoma, maculopathy, retinopathy, cataract, uncorrected vision deficit. In one out of two cases, severe visual impairment could be prevented, according to the WHO. This story comes to us from:

Preventing Blindness

Macular diseases cause blindness and treatment costs millions. Here is how to look after yours

The single most expensive drug for the Australian government today, costing more than A$400 million per year, is one called aflibercept. It stops the growth and “leakiness” of blood vessels, and is given to treat a range of different eye diseases. These diseases have one thing in common: they all affect a piece of tissue inside the eye called the macula. This story comes to us from: The Conversation.