A revolutionary telescope implant has been approved to help restore sight to patients suffering from final stage macular degeneration. The break-through device will help prevent total vision loss by using the telescope to mimic the eye lens which becomes damaged through age-related macular degeneration.
Age-related macular degeneration (AGM) is the leading cause of vision loss in the elderly. Approving the microscopic telescope, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced the telescope would be offered to U.S. patients over the age of 75 suffering from final stage AGM.
The telescope works by replacing the eye lens and magnifying images back to the retina. Patients are able to see out of the eye, however side vision is lost. Due to the loss of the peripheral vision, the implant is approved for use in one eye only with the none-implanted eye providing side vision. To help patients adjust to the altered vision, opthalmologists will help patients adjust to using an external telescope mimicking the vision of the implant before the AGM surgery.
The telescope implant is expected to raise the quality of life for patients with age-related macular degeneration however due to a risk of cornea damage due to the size of the implant, patients will be monitored for five years following the implantation.
*Image courtesy of developers VisionCare. Implantable Miniature Telescope (by Dr. Isaac Lipshitz)
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