12/22/16 Researchers at Ohio State University have developed a pea-sized telescope that can implanted into the eye to magnify images for people with age-related macular degeneration. For patients who have lost their central vision due to AMD, this newly FDA approved telescope allows the opportunity to regain some of what they have lost to AMD.
In a healthy eye, light enters the eye through the cornea and is bent by the natural lens suspended behind the pupil, and is then focused onto the retina. AMD is a degenerative condition which results in the loss of cells in part of the retina which effects reading and seeing fine details.
This new implantable telescope is designed to be embedded into the natural lens of the eye during cataract surgery in place of the standard intraocular lens that is used in most cataract surgeries. The telescope magnifies an image to cover a larger portion of the retina and allowing patients to see around blind spots caused by AMD.
Before being selected as a candidate, a patient has to go through a lengthy pre-screening process. As part of this process, the patient is given an external telescopic device to simulate the effect of the telescope after implant. That way, the patient can experience what it would be like to have the telescope in one of their eyes permanently.
From the inventive lens design to expanding AMD patient care options, the tiny device is pioneering big change in the field of ophthalmic care. While there is much to look forward to with these future innovations, the better news is that a population of patients who previously did not have much to hope for, are seeing the world in a whole new light.