FDA clears first implantable telescope for vision
2010-07-12 0:00

By Lauran Neergaard | HuffingtonPost.com


U.S. health officials have approved a first-of-its-kind technology to counter a leading cause of blindness in older adults – a tiny telescope implanted inside the eye.

The Implantable Miniature Telescope aims to help in the end stages of incurable age-related macular degeneration, a creeping loss of central vision that blocks reading, watching TV, eventually even recognizing faces.

The idea: Surgically insert the Implantable Miniature Telescope into one eye for better central vision, while leaving the other eye alone to provide peripheral vision. The brain must fuse two views into a single image, and the Food and Drug Administration warned Tuesday that patients need post-surgery rehabilitation to make it work.


The VisionCare telescope is shown balanced on a finger. (Credit: VisionCare)

There’s little to help such advanced patients today aside from difficult-to-use handheld or glasses-mounted telescopes, while the new implanted telescope – smaller than a pea – can improve quality of life for the right candidate, said Dr. Malvina Eydelman, FDA’s ophthalmic devices chief.

But it’s only for a subset of the nearly 2 million Americans with advanced macular degeneration, Eydelman warned: Those 75 and older, with a certain degree of vision loss, who also need a cataract removed. In fact, the FDA took the highly unusual step of requiring that patients and their surgeons sign a detailed "acceptance of risk agreement" before surgery, acknowledging potential side effects – including corneal damage and worsened vision – and the need for lots of testing to determine who’s a candidate.

"We’re not giving people back 20-year-old eyes," cautioned ophthalmic surgeon Dr. Kathryn Colby of Harvard and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. She helped lead manufacturer VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies’ study of the implant.

But by magnifying images onto more of the retina than its diseased center, someone who before couldn’t see an entire face might now miss only the nose, Colby said.

In a 219-patient study, the FDA said 90 percent of telescope recipients had their vision improve by at least two lines on an eye chart, and three-quarters went from severe to moderate vision impairment.

Concern about damage to the inside lining of the cornea, the eye’s clear front covering that helps focus light, held up FDA approval for several years. In that study, 10 eyes had serious corneal swelling, five that required corneal transplants. FDA’s Eydelman said the company proposed candidate restrictions to minimize that risk, and will study how an additional 770 recipients fare after sales begin.

VisionCare, of Saratoga, Calif., is seeking Medicare coverage for the surgery and rehab costs, a package that it calls CentraSight. The company wouldn’t estimate total costs but said the device itself costs $15,000.

Article from: HuffingtonPost.com




Bionic Eye Surgery and the Fight Against Blindness (Video)





Related Articles
First implantable telescope for vision - Physorg.com
CentraSight.com
Eye telescope implant clears FDA hurdle
Good Looking: Chicago Gets 30-Foot Eyeball
Your Cyborg Eye Will Talk to You
Would you trust the human eye to spot a bomb?
Lens lets people upgrade their eyes to HD
"Oculus" All Seeing Eye Under WTC, 1998
Filmmaker plans "Eyeborg" eye-socket camera


Latest News from our Front Page

West’s tributes to late Saudi King reveal hypocrisy not democracy
2015-01-27 2:16
Hypocrisy is not usually regarded as a virtue of leadership, yet judging by the gushing tributes paid to Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah by various Western governments and establishment figures on his death, there are those who believe it should be. In the UK this hypocrisy has been stretched to breaking point with the decision to fly the flags over Downing ...
Millions of GMO insects could be set loose in Florida Keys
2015-01-27 2:34
Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases. Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood. "This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease," said Michael Doyle, executive ...
Furguson Scared The Super - Rich So Bad They're Planning Exits
2015-01-27 0:22
According to a speaker at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Ferguson and Occupy absolutely terrified the world’s super-rich, and now they’re buying airstrips and farms in remote locations to escape to. At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which was held between January 21-24, over 2,500 leaders in the fields of business, international politics, academia and journalism met to discuss ...
The Ring Of The Nibelungs
2015-01-27 0:20
Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King (also known as Ring of the Nibelungs, Die Nibelungen, Curse of the Ring, and Sword of Xanten) is a 2004 German television film directed by Uli Edel and starring Benno Fürmann, Alicia Witt, Kristanna Loken, and Max von Sydow. The film is based on the Norse mythology story Völsungasaga and the German epic poem Nibelungenlied, ...
Google Street View Shows NAACP Bombing a Hoax
2015-01-26 22:58
Caught in the act: NAACP passing off old soot marks as new in ‘bomb’ hoax NAACP Colorado Chapter President Henry D. Allen Jr. has been caught in the act of passing off old soot marks as new damage from the recent ‘explosion’ at the Colorado Springs chapter headquarters. Although Gotnews.com has previously remarked on the minimal damage as reported by the ...
More News »