A new implantable intraocular telescope is now available for patients with endstage macular degeneration. Patients with severe, bilateral (both eyes), loss of central vision caused by macular degeneration may now benefit from this tiny visual prosthesis. The company, VisionCare, received FDA approval for CentraSight just last week.
The CentraSight implantable telescope is designed to be placed inside only one of your eyes. This “telescope,” a very strong intraocular lens, will magnify your central vision and project your central vision on a larger corresponding area of your retina. The operative eye (the eye receiving the implant) will give you central vision.
Your other eye (not receiving the implant, but has lousy central vision) will remain the same, but give you peripheral vision. You’ll have one eye for central and the other eye for peripheral vision.
There are four steps; Diagnosis, Screening, Implantation and Visual Training.
You must suffer from end-stage macular degeneration. This can be either wet or dry. This must be confirmed by a retina specialist. You must be stable and are no longer treatable with any medications such as anti-VEGF.
In addition to suffering from macular degeneration, other criteria include;
Once you are determined to be an excellent candidate, surgery will be performed very similar to cataract surgery. It will be performed as an outpatient. There are risks of eye surgery, but none too different than other intraocular surgery.
After surgery, you’ll work with eye doctors and other low vision professionals to teach you to use your new intraocular telescope.
What Does This Mean? This is not a cure for the disease, but seems to be an excellent choice for those that have profound, permanent, visual loss. This may potentially return visual function to those suffering from permanent loss of their central vision. This could transform disability to impairment (another topic of discussion).
This means there is hope despite a pretty bleak path for those that have suffered significant loss of vision so far.
This means we should be watchful for more news as it develops and mindful that this is brand new.
It is exciting.