Implanted telescope – bionic breakthrough for macular degeneration (AMD)

blue circlesPrevent Blindness America published a report in 2008 indicating that age-related macular degeneration (AMD) had “the largest increase of the major eye diseases. Currently [in 2008], 2 million Americans have been diagnosed with AMD.”

WebMD announced yesterday that the FDA has approved the use of an Implantable Miniature Telescope (IMT) designed to replace the natural lens and improve vision in patients with end-stage, age-related macular degeneration.

Today, ABC News followed up with a story about Ed Nungesser. Seven years ago, Ed volunteered to be part of a trial study for the experimental procedure. The first thing he saw was the face of his young granddaughter, Faith.

I’m encouraged by this, because my COVD doctor recently referred me to an Ophthalmologist for macular changes that may herald macular degeneration. They are watching it closely.

According to the ABC report, “Doctors surgically insert the telescope into one eye to provide better central vision. The other eye is left alone to provide peripheral vision. The human brain fuses the two different viewpoints into one single image.” This is especially interesting for those of us with strabismus, for whom fusion is not always easy.

Click the links to Prevent Blindness America, WebMD, and ABC News to read more. If you have strabismus and have had or plan to have the implantable telescope, please write about your experience in the comment section below.

Photo credit: Blue Background courtesy Sneza Skaric

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