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A community approach to eye health

A community approach to eye health?

Thursday 09 August 2018

Have you heard of microbiomes? They’ve been all the rage in research land for the last 10 years – and their discovery has opened a whole new avenue of potential therapies to combat ill health. We now know there’s one in your eyes. So what are they?

Put simply, a microbiome is a community of healthy bacteria, viruses and microbes. These occur naturally all over and inside our bodies, and specific communities have been identified which support a number of healthy body functions. Researchers at Yale found that the eye is no exception, and that encouraging the beneficial bacteria in your eye can prevent infection by harmful germs.

Recent research has shown that there are interdependencies between various microbiomes – for example a relationship has been noticed between the oral microbiome and glaucoma – and much current research focusses on how the power of healthy bacteria can be harnessed to prevent disease. For example, one recent study explored the use of probiotic eye drops to treat mild conjunctivitis. This novel use of topical probiotics could be a starting point for a whole new generation of non-invasive therapies.


  1. Review of Ophthalmology:
    The secrets of ocular microbiomes.

2.Yale Journal of Biologiy and Medicine:
Human Microbiota and Ophthalmic Disease.


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