Coming Soon, Eagle Eye Vision for the Blind

Bionic eyes coming soon

Telescopic eye implantWell not quite the blind and not quite ‘Eagle Eye‘ vision. I refer to the way cool Bionic Dollar Man action figure (NOT a doll I tell ya!) that had a wee telescope in Steve’s head. However, the idea is pretty close. There is a new medical device that can return some sight to people who suffer from macular degeneration. To give a little bit of an idea what it’s like to have MD make two fists and put them in front of your eyes so they block most of your field of view. Now keep them in the center of your vision wherever your eyes point at. Not fun is it. The 4mm long telescope fits in the eye where the natural lens would be and projects a magnified image of what the person is looking at on to their retina.

“These cells are normally involved in peripheral vision and normally generate low-resolution visual information compared to the macula cells–you can’t read a sign in your periphery, for example. But magnifying the image also has the advantage of making it easier for the cells to interpret.”
… “The device is implanted in only one eye–patients use this eye for detailed vision and the untreated eye for peripheral vision. That takes some getting used to, says Peli. “Instead of using two parts of the same eye, they must switch between two eyes; if they see someone coming but can’t tell who it is, they need to switch to other eye.””

Even a low level of vision is better than none at all. Should be available as soon as the FDA approves it.

[via slashdot]
Implantable Telescope for the Eye