When you think of glaucoma, you’re probably either thinking about old people or jokes in stoner flicks stating how marijuana is great against the affliction. But the reality is that it’s far more disturbing than that. As much as 3.54% of the world’s 40 to 80 year olds suffer from disease. And according to a new study from the University College of London, pancakes are used to better understand glaucoma.
A few introductory notions
First of all, glaucoma is a very serious affair. Like I said before, it affects as 3.54% of the world’s population of 40 to 80 year olds, but it doesn’t always follow that restriction. You can still be in your teens and develop the affliction, guaranteeing that unless you get surgery, you vision will only get worse.
And don’t think that surgery will help you recover the eyesight that you already lost, as that is still beyond our current medical capabilities. What surgical procedures do in the case of glaucoma is to attempt to manage and prevent further damage.
Next, to understand the study, you have to be familiar with two concepts, both related to pancakes. Wait for it, it will start making sense soon enough.
The first one is the aspect ratio, which has nothing to do with your computer screen. It refers to the number that results from comparing the pancake’s diameter (to the third power) to the volume of batter it took to finish the pancake. This means that the smaller the aspect ratio is, the smaller the pancake you have.
On the other hand, the baker’s percentage refers to the ratio of liquid to flour in the pancake batter. The higher the baker’s percentage, the thinner your batter will be. The lower the percentage is, the smaller amount of flour will be added to the mix.
Pancakes and your eyesight
For the study, the team checked various aspect ratios and baker’s percentages to see which one affected the pancakes in which way. The aspect ratios varied from a very small and thick 3 – for Dutch pffertjes – to the European 300 for crepes. The baker’s percentage, meanwhile, stayed between 100 and 225. The idea was to see how the different factors affected the water evaporating from the batter.
For example a baker’s percentage of 100 will cause craters to appear in the pancake because of the water trying to rise up underneath. Meanwhile, a baker’s percentage of 225 will darken the pancake, give it a ring around the edge and fill it with many tiny holes.
The team of researchers used this to understand how the pressure trying to escape the optic nerve affects your eyesight. This has already granted some much needed information, and the scientists are already considering a new procedure to help ease the pressure of the liquid on the optic nerve.
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