The Latest in Retina

June 2, 2015

At Eyedeology, we believe in providing the most comprehensive eye examination to every one of our patients. That is why you may be asked to have a dilated eye exam so that we may examine the retina most thoroughly to rule out diseases such as macular degeneration, diabetes, hypertension, tumours and many other eye conditions. Exciting developments in retina research and clinical care are happening right now such as these headlines: “Blind man sees wife for first time in more than a decade with Bionic eye” “Blind Mother sees her baby for the first time” Imagine for someone who has lost his/her vision for years, not seeing faces of loved ones, grandchildren, not being able to do the daily activities most of us take for granted, such as going for walks, reading books. These headlines are exciting news for patients with certain retinal diseases such as macular degeneration, retinitis pigmentosa, Stargardt’s disease, ocular albinism, diabetic retinopathy, Leber’s optic neuropathy, cone-rod dystrophy and other low vision conditions. Three new revolutionary devices are allowing patients who have been legally blind for decades to see for the first time using today’s technology in electronics and eye surgery.

CentraSight

This device is a small telescope implanted inside a patient’s eye to improve vision and quality of life affected by end-stage Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). This technology reduces the impact of the severe central-vision blind spot caused by the disease. The telescope implant projects the objects that the patient is attempting to see onto the remaining healthy retina tissue that has not degenerated. About the size of a pea, the implant is surgically placed inside the crystalline lens of one eye while the other eye continues to give the patient peripheral vision. Patients chosen for this device include those who have best-corrected vision of 20/160 to 20/800 with irreversible, end-stage dry or wet AMD, and no previous cataract surgery in the chosen eye for this surgery. For further information, visit www.centrasight.com

E Sight Eyewear

E Sight eyewear is an innovative, wearable, electronic eyeglasses that enhances whatever the user is looking at to maximize the effectiveness of one’s remaining eyesight. For patients with low vision (meaning a patient’s best-possible corrected vision is 20/200) this can be life changing to allow them to shop independently, recognize faces, and become mobile again. The patient wears larger than normal glasses that combine a camera, display technology and advanced computing to deliver real-time video that is then projected onto a screen in front of the patient’s eyes. Users have complete control over the image they see, they can enhance contrast, magnify up to 14X and adjust the image to best interpret their world, whether walking, reading, or sitting. This will allow them to be able to do daily activities they may have lost such as walking, using computers, seeing faces, and attending sporting events. E Sight is a Canadian biotechnology company. The device is best for patients with best-corrected vision of 20/60 to 20/400 and costs $15,000 Kathy Beitz of Toronto, has Stargardt’s disease, a genetic condition that causes macular degeneration. With E Sight she was able to see her newborn son after many years without vision.

Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System

Second Sight Medical Products Inc has developed the first retinal prosthesis in the world, which is restoring some functional vision to blind patients. In Jan 2015 this has been approved by Health Canada for treatment of outer retinal degeneration, namely retinitis pigmentosa (RP). The Argus II has been implanted now in more than 100 patients worldwide. It works by inducing visual perception in blind patients by stimulating the retina’s remaining cells, resulting in a perception of light patterns in the brain. Images are captured by a small video camera mounted on the patient’s glasses, which are then converted into a series of small electrical pulses that are then transmitted wirelessly to an array of electrodes implanted on the surface of the retina. This allows patients to recognize shapes or large objects, locating people, identifying location of doorways. Allen Zderad, a 68-year-old man from Minnesota, has not seen his wife, children or grandchildren for the last ten years. Dr.Raymond Iezzi, a Mayo Clinic retinal surgeon, implanted the Argus II into Allen’s eyes. In an emotional video on YouTube, Allen showed excitement and jubilation as the image of his wife slowly came into view for the first time. His family and friends were in tears. What Allen can see now are pixelated images in black and white. He says “it’s crude, but it’s significant. It works”, smiling with tears running down his cheeks.

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Dr. Farrah Sunderji, OD