Surgeons from Manchester Royal Eye Hospital have achieved a remarkable feat in the medical world for successfully implanting the world’s first bionic eye in a patient suffering from dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The disease is the most common cause of sight loss in the developed world.
The bionic eye known as Argus II has helped 80-year-old Ray Flynn draw outline of people and objects even with his eyes closed. This has been made possible with the help of a retinal implant that converts video image form a miniature video camera worn on the glasses. Flynn had lost his central vision which does not affect peripheral vision.
Argus II converts the images into electrical pulses that bypasses the defunct retinal cells and stimulates the remaining retinal cells which send information to the brain. The pulses result in the perception of patterns of light in the brain which the patient learns to interpret over a period of time. Of the 37 million blind people in the world, 15 million are from India and therefore this development is of immense importance as the country is home to the largest number of blind. The first trial of the implant is extremely successful and if this streak continues, then surgeons will look forward to treating advanced and scarred wet form of AMD.