Revolutionary Breakthrough in Blink Restoration for Your Health

Damage to the nerves providing sensation to the eye’s surface, specifically the cornea, can result in neurotrophic keratopathy (N.K.), a serious condition that affects up to 10,000 people a year. This can occur after an infection, trauma to the head or neck, or as a result of tumors in the brain or skull base.

Traditional treatments for N.K. include eye drops and surgery to protect the eye, but they don’t address the underlying nerve damage. However, a new technique called corneal neurotization is offering hope for those with this condition. Surgeons at UNC hospitals are performing this surgery, where healthy nerves from the lower leg are used to reconnect the damaged nerves in the eyebrow to the cornea.

The reconnected nerves grow into the damaged cornea over time, replacing the non-functioning nerves and improving vision and sensation. Patients may notice improvements after up to six months, but the healing process can be life-changing for those who have lost their ability to blink. This innovative technique is saving sight and even reversing vision loss for those with N.K., making it an exciting option for those seeking treatment for this debilitating condition.

By Sophia Gonzalez

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