22 Oct Stem Cell Therapy For Corneal Injuries
The corneas are very sensitive tissues that cover the front of the eye. And while they may seem fragile, they protect other more delicate parts of the eye and refract light entering the eye. Unsurprisingly, corneas are critical to our sight, and their damage could result in partial or complete blindness.
Thankfully, there is now a way to rectify the lasting implications of corneal injuries through corneal regenerative stem cell therapy. So what is this treatment, and how does it help restore vision?
Corneal Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy
Corneal or ocular surface damage could result from different accidents. Chemical contact or simply poking the eye could cause severe damage to the cells in the cornea. However, using stem cells, the cornea can be reconstructed by rejuvenating and replenishing damaged cells. Some common threats to the ocular surface include;
- Infectious pathogens
- Thermal injuries
- Stevens-Johnson syndrome
- Ocular pemphigoid
- Chemical burns
- Autoimmune diseases
A special dye is applied to the eye to recognize a damaged cornea. The dye stains the damaged areas in the cornea and based on the level of staining, doctors can identify the damage severity. Allowing for natural healing could cause complications and affect sight. Hence, the damaged cells need to be restored.
Secretions from stem cells, such as secretomes, extracellular vesicles, and exosomes, have been used recently for corneal regeneration.
How Corneal Regenerative Stem Cell Therapy Works
For most tests, autologous platelet-rich plasma is used to regenerate corneal cells. It is placed on the damaged area in the cornea and held in place with transparent contact lenses that serve as a bandage. These lenses do not cause much discomfort; however, patients tend to have blurred vision due to the membrane.
Typically, the membrane takes about five days to dissolve into the eye’s surface. After dissolving, the bandage is removed, and the healing process begins.
Stem cells are well known for their ability to divide and renew themselves for long periods. This also occurs when they are applied to damaged areas. In the case of corneal damage, the membrane has the potential to make more cells which replace the damaged cells and restore the typical structure and function of the cornea.
It is also believed that some adult stem cells, such as amniotic membrane and corneal limbal cells, also offer stem-cell-like properties. As such, these cells, located in the basal epithelial layer of the corneal limbus, can also regenerate damaged cornea cells. While this method is not mainstream yet, it has attracted tremendous interest over the past few years. It might just serve as a faster and more effective corneal regenerative therapy in the future.
Stem Cell Therapy For Corneal Injuries
For now, most people view corneal regenerative therapy as a far-fetched dream. Yet, it’s actively used as a safe and effective way to replace damaged eye cells. If you have suffered any damage, injury, or medical condition to the eye, autologous platelet-rich plasma can help rectify the implications and improve your vision. Take the first step to your recovery, and contact us today.