New hope for millions suffering from vision loss

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by Carey Peña

Bio | Email | Follow: @careypenatv

azfamily.com

Posted on September 8, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Updated Saturday, Sep 8 at 10:00 AM

PHOENIX -- Colton Mastro was only 20-years-old when he was threatened with the sudden loss of sight.

“I was up at NAU and I started blinking a lot when I looked up at the board,” Mastro told 3TV.  “It is definitely scary and the fear did come up.”

It turns out, Mastro was suffering from something called Keratoconus.

“He had an aggressive change in his vision which is actually pretty normal in your 20’s,” said Doctor Jay Schwartz, “The cornea starts to lose its shape and causes the vision to become blurred.  There are so many people that have some degree of this disease out there and don’t even realize it.”
 
Schwartz is one of only 14 doctors nationwide taking part in a cutting edge clinical trial to cure this disease and other vision problems like it.

Schwartz said a lot of people simply think they need LASIK and don’t realize it could be something a lot more serious.

“A lot of those patients actually have Keratoconus and so if properly treated they could stop the disease in its tracks,” said Schwartz.
 
The procedure is pretty simple. Specialized drops are put in the eye and then the patient goes under ultraviolet light.  So far, about 100 patients here in the Valley have taken part in this clinical trial.

Mastro is one of those patients. He said he feels as good as new, “Not having to worry about my eyes going away is a big thing.”

Schwartz believes this procedure – which is already used in other parts of the world – could be revolutionary here in the U.S.

So far, he said of the 100 patients taking part in this trial he’s seen 100 percent success.

“I’ve been shocked at the results to say the least,” said Schwartz.

He hopes the FDA will approve this treatment for mainstream use after all of the doctors submit their results.
 
Schwartz said it’s not about a temporary fix. He believes this is a cure.   

For more information on this clinical trial visit
www.clinicaltrial.org
Schwartz Laser Eye Center
480-483-EYES
www.teameyedoc.com

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