For centuries, we’ve used telescopes to explore the earth and peer into space. Now, implantable telescope technology is on the horizon to help people with the leading cause of blindness to maintain their independence and get back to enjoying life.
The CentraSight implantable miniature telescope from VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies http://www.visioncareinc.net/technology is awaiting FDA approval as a permanent solution for the “blind spot” caused by the most advanced cases of age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
AMD progressively damages a specialized area of the retina tissue at the back of the eye that is responsible for “straight-ahead” vision and enables people to drive, recognize faces, read books and labels, and view television and computer screens. The investigational device works in tandem with the eye’s cornea to focus enlarged images over areas of the retina unaffected by the disease.
Retina specialist Dr. Henry Hudson, a principal investigator in clinical trials of the CentraSight treatment for advanced AMD, shares this patient’s story:
“One of my patients was unable to see the faces of her grandchildren, and because they are all blonde, she couldn’t tell them apart. After the CentraSight treatment, she was able to recognize them by name. She was also able to resume riding her bike, something she had stopped doing because she couldn’t tell if she was going to hit someone in front of her on the sidewalk!”
Ophthalmic surgeons implant the pea-sized device into one eye during an outpatient procedure that involves removing the natural lens. The untreated eye retains peripheral (side) vision for mobility and navigation. A vision-training program maximizes the ability to perform daily activities.
FDA approval is anticipated later this year, says Dr. Hudson. Clinical studies conducted at 28 leading ophthalmic centers and in more than 225 patients demonstrated statistically significant and clinically meaningful results.