Artificial muscles could be used to restore thousands of people"s sight, according to researchers at the UC Davis Medical Center in the US.
The team have demonstrated a way to help people with facial paralysis to blink, which could benefit individuals who no longer are able to close their eyelids due to combat-related injuries, stroke, nerve injury or facial surgery.
Being able to blink is vital to people"s eye health as it allows the lid to wipe the surface of the eye clean and spreads tears across the cornea.
If people are unable to blink, they are vulnerable to developing corneal ulcers that eventually can cause blindness.
The technique is currently being tested on animals and cadavers and the researchers predict it will be available for patients within the next five years.
Research conducted at the University of Alabama highlighted that people should blink often when sitting in front of computer monitors to reduce the risk of dry eyes.
by Alexa Kaczka