Facebook Pixel

FDA Approves In-Eye Telescope for Macular Degeneration

By HERWriter
Rate This

A new product just approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is offering new hope to elderly patients with end-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The implantable, miniature telescope is considered breakthrough technology to help offset the effects of AMD, which results in functional vision loss and is the leading cause of blindness in older Americans.

Anatomy of the eye
Light enters the eye through the lens, which focuses the light onto special cells in the lining of the eye which is called the retina. The portion of the retina that is responsible for seeing up-close vision in clear detail is the macula. Light is converted by the cells in the retina and macula into electrical energy that is sent to the brain through the optic nerve.

AMD defined
During macular degeneration, the cells in the macula are damaged, either by fat deposits that cause scarring (dry AMD) or by extra blood vessels that form in the area and leak fluid into the surrounding tissue which damages the retina (wet AMD). In both types of age-related macular degeneration, the damaged cells in the macula are no longer able to convert light to electrical energy. The pieces of the image that should have been converted by those cells are never sent to the brain, resulting in a black hole in the center of the visual image.

AMD is a progressive condition. Generally, a small “hole” appears in the center of vision and grows larger over time as more cells inside the eye are damaged. The outer edges of the retina, which are responsible for peripheral vision, are usually undamaged, which can result in seeing an image similar to a donut where the edges are visible but blurry and the center or donut hole is missing.

Telescopic vision
Dr. Isaac Lipshitz of VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc. developed the new, implantable telescope to combat the effects of AMD. The device consists of an actual telescope the size of a pea. During surgery, the natural lens of the eye is removed and the telescope is inserted into the capsule in the eye where the lens had been located.

Add a Comment4 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

this isa fantastic products

November 25, 2010 - 9:06am

You can take a short quiz at this website to find out if you are a candidate for this procedure:

You will need to contact CentraSight for more details and to find out whether insurance will cover the procedure. The camera is only installed in one eye, so vision in the other eye is not effected. They are based in Saratoga, California and their phone number is listed below. Good luck!
VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc.
14395 Saratoga Ave, Ste 150
Saratoga, California 95070
Phone: 408.872.9393

July 22, 2010 - 12:15am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Denise DeWitt)

Thank you for the information. I am so glad this was approved by the FDA. So many of our elderly have this problem and now they have hope to once again see better than they have been able to do. I hope and pray this will help some of the elderly population in the very near future.

July 22, 2010 - 7:06am
EmpowHER Guest

Where is the procedure done? Can a 91 year old woment have this procedure? With the risk factors can a patient loose all eye sight? Does Medicare and a secondary health insurance cover the cost?

g u4 ep

July 21, 2010 - 8:10pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Macular Degeneration

Get Email Updates

Related Topics

Macular Degeneration Guide

HERWriter Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!