Experts across the world have been praising recent research carried out in the US which could open the door to treatments to restore sight.
A team led by Alfredo Dubra from the University of Rochester have viewed rods in the eyes for the first time ever, using special technology normally used to view distant galaxies.
According to international experts, being able to actually see these rods could result in new therapies to prevent blindness or even restore the vision of people who are blind.
Dr Steve Burns, a professor in the School of Optometry at Indiana University, labelled it an "exciting breakthrough", as imaging contiguous rod mosaics will allow experts to study the impact of a "whole new class" of blinding disorders of the retina.
"Since many of the eye diseases most amenable to intervention affect the rods, this should become a major tool for determining what treatments work best for those disorders," the expert stated.
Dr Joseph Carroll, from the Medical College of Wisconsin, added that using the information in the retinal images could ultimately help eyecare professionals in "targeting, delivering and evaluating" different therapies.
by Alexa Kaczka