Friday, August 17, 2007

Optical prosthetics

Scientific American reports: [edited]

Those suffering from advanced stages of macular degeneration may by the end of this year be able to halt and even reverse vision loss caused by the age-related eye disease.

The optical prosthetics, tiny enough to be balanced on a fingertip, dramatically improved the vision of about two thirds of the 206 patients studied in a 24-month clinical trial, according to a new study published in Archives of Ophthalmology.

Macular degeneration is a disorder of the central retina, or macula, that causes the afflicted person to see a dark spot in the center of his or her field of vision, impairing the ability to read, recognize faces and watch TV.

The implantable mini-scope works with the eye's cornea like a telephoto system, rendering an enlarged retinal image designed to reduce the area of diminished vision.

The device is a compound telescope system that consists of a glass cylinder that is 4.4 millimeters in length and 3.6 millimeters in diameter and houses wide-angle micro-optics.

The 206 patients in the study shared a number of characteristics, including stable, untreatable, age-related macular degeneration in both eyes with visual acuity no better than 20/80 but no worse than 20/800, along with good peripheral vision.

A year after the trial was completed, 90 percent of patients were able to see two lines better on a reading chart, and 67 percent were able to see three lines better, the equivalent of doubling their vision.


soraneko said...

You're meant to be on holiday, bad pappy-man! ;)

brett jordan said...

holidays? i don't need no steenking holidays!

soraneko said...

That's not what you said LAST night!

brett jordan said...

guilty as charged... *blush*