Medical Minute 12-1: Implantable Telescope for Macular Degeneration

By: Melissa Medalie Email
By: Melissa Medalie Email

84-year-old Jo Anne Preece has macular degeneration.

"It's amazing we all, we all take our vision for granted, and it could be gone in an instant, you know," she said.

It didn't just steal her sight, but also her freedom.

"I couldn't see oncoming traffic, scared me to death so I stopped driving," said Jo Ann Preece.

This is the view for someone with macular degeneration.

"Someone with end stage Macular Degeneration when they are looking for example they would see shoulders maybe your hair, but wouldn't be able to see your face."

Jo Anne's view of the world is changing thanks to a pea-sized telescope implanted in her eye. Two high powered lenses magnify what she sees.

The implant is put in just one eye. Doctors make a small incision in the cornea, then take out the cataract or damaged lens and replace it with the telescopic lens. Patients are sedated but awake for the surgery.

"You actually have to train your brain to use the telescope eye to see the magnified central image and use the other eye for peripheral vision," said Kathryn A. Colby, M.D., Ph.D., Ophthalmic surgeon.

Doctors say after the surgery patients go through vision rehabilitation. In a study, 200 end stage macular degeneration patients who had the implant, nearly 70% saw an improvement in their vision of three lines or more after a year.

"It changed my life I don't know where I would be if it hadn't been for that."

A woman who is taking advantage of every moment of her independence.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT: Vision Care Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc.(408) 872 - 9393www.CentralSight.comwww.MassEyeandEar.org


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