Perspectives in Ophthalmology
Integrity of the ocular surface and transparency of the cornea as “window of the eye,” necessary to achieve a good visual acuity, are essential of every persons’ quality of life and for their ability to professionally and socially interact in the community. The homeostasis at the ocular surface is constantly endangered both by microbes and by intrinsic factors, such as metabolic disturbances (e.g., diabetes) reducing the wound healing capability. In addition, the popular use of contact lenses poses a considerable risk for microbial infection due to poor hygiene or overwearing. Infections at the ocular surface clinically present as infections of the conjunctiva (=conjunctivitis) or of the cornea (=keratitis). In advanced stages, corneal defects can result with loss of stromal tissue and potential risk of perforation of the eye. Current treatments involve topical or i.v. use of e.g., antibiotics or of antimycotics and require hospitalization in severe cases. However, some microbes can be therapy-refractive or even -resistent leading to worsening of the clinical situation. Plasma medicine and its desinfective properties open new ways for treatment of microbial infections of the cornea. This can lead to shortening of treatment time, faster recovery for the patient and to an overall reduction of costs for health systems.
KeywordsCornea Ocular surface Contact lens Microbes Keratitis Plasma medicine Cold plasma
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