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Australian News
Monday, 23 June 2008
An Australian company has developed a new way of treating the nation's leading cause of blindness by using sound waves to help deliver drugs into the eye.

About one in seven people over the age of 50 are affected by age-related macular degeneration, a disease that affects the central part of a person's vision and can make activities such as reading and driving impossible.

Current ways of treating the "wet" form of the disease — where abnormal blood vessels grow and leak into the retina — include laser surgery or direct injection of drugs.

A new technique, developed by Seagull Technology, has the potential to treat the damaged area without the needles.

A small ultrasound helps the drug penetrate the eye tissue and then move to the affected area.

Seagull Technology managing director Dr Shanny Dyer said the procedure, which would require a local anaesthetic, felt similar to putting a contact lens in the eye.