If you are one of those people who fears a future shrouded in darkness due to bad vision, you can now breathe a sigh of relief and anticipate technological developments which will no doubt lead to the creation of a range of bionic eyes that will change and even save lives.
The thought of a bionic eye prior to its actual development could be considered an outrageous idea that will never amount to an actual product.
But, the bionic eye is currently a technological breakthrough which is set to change the lives of people plagued with debilitating eye issues. Recently in the news for being successfully transplanted into the eye of an 80-year-old patient, the bionic eye is here to stay.
The Success Story which Brought the Bionic Eye into the Limelight
The first successful bionic eye transplant was carried out during a four-hour operation on June 16 at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. The patient was 80-year-old Ray Flynn, an elderly gentleman who was suffering from lack of central vision due to AMD or dry age-related macular degeneration.
Flynn was fitted with the Argus II bionic eye during the extensive and delicate four-hour operation. Upon activation on July 1, the patient stated that he was able to see clearly and even managed to identify people during a routine experiment.
Flynn’s success story with the bionic eye is clear testimony to the fact that blind patients with total central-vision loss due to dry AMD can in fact benefit from the fitting of an artificial retina.
A Debilitating Condition That Leads to Blindness
Age-related macular degeneration can be best defined as being an incurable but painless eye condition which leads to loss of central-vision and sometimes leads to complete and rapid loss of sight or blindness.
It mostly affects senior citizens and can, even at its nascent stages, prevent patients from viewing people and objects which are very close to them.
The repercussions of AMD range from physical discomfort due to visual impairment, loss of independence, and an increased chance of meeting with accidents.
Patients with AMD are restricted from driving, sailing, and other activities which put them and people around them at risk of experiencing injuries, and are often not able to fend for themselves, even when it comes to performing the most basic tasks such as cooking and cleaning.
Thanks to the bionic eye however, patients such as Ray Flynn are now able to live their lives in comfort and without any negative repercussions. Offering clear vision and no other side effects, the bionic eye transplant is akin to a fresh lease on life for a senior citizen, and will put an end to the various complications caused by AMD.
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Bionic Eyes Function Effectively Thanks to Simple Video Image Conversion
The Bionic Eye was created by the U.S.-based Second Sight Medical Products Company and functions by using a miniature camera which is located in the glasses of the patient, and converts video images that have been captured. These captured images are then converted into tiny electrical pulses which are wirelessly transmitted to electrodes located on the surface of the retina.
Once transmitted, the electrical pulses serve to stimulate the remaining cells in the retina, thus facilitating the creation of a corresponding pattern of light in the brain. In due course and with repeated exposure, a patient who has been fitted with a bionic eye will train their brain to interpret and identify these visuals accurately.
Bionic Eye Transplants Possess the Potential to Improve Lives
As aforementioned, a bionic eye transplant offers a complete solution to patients suffering from AMD and will also be beneficial to those suffering from similar blindness causing problems.
This comes as positive news for those in the field of eye health who have been struggling to tackle incurable diseases of which complete blindness is a side effect.
Other patients who are likely to benefit from bionic eye transplants include those who have partial or hazy vision thanks to a host of different reasons including accidents, genetic complications, and other issues, each of which contributes to incurable blindness and subsequent decrease in the quality of life of its patients.
The trials and experiments continue as medical professionals explore the potential of the bionic eye. It has been reported that an additional set of willing patients have been recruited, each of whom will undergo similar surgery and will be fitted with a bionic eye as a remedy to their increasing AMD.
The Bionic Eye Has Potential to Change the Lives of Generations of Patients
While the present testing status of the bionic eye transplant process suggests that its experiments are restricted to the senior citizen age group, it is undeniable that this futuristic game-changing device possesses the potential to impact more than just the elderly population.
For now however, senior citizens such as Ray Flynn can have a positive and bright view of their futures, and a life of independence and adventure to enjoy.
The future is certainly bright for the developers of the bionic eye as it is set to become a revolutionary solution for those with vision problems.
It is predicted that the near future will see a number of modifications and developments that will enable the present prototype to be tweaked to perfection, after which it will be further tested before being released into the market.
But, before you start relying on super high-tech, futuristic fixes, you should still try to prevent vision problems. Sure, some of them are inevitable as we age, but there are a few things we can do to keep our eyes healthy and strong longer.
Consider you diet. Are you eating a lot of refined carbs and sugar? There are certain foods that should be avoided if you want to keep your eyes healthy. You also might want to try a vitamin supplement to improve vision.
It’s also a good idea to try to reduce eye strain. You can adapt to a lifestyle which allows for regular periods of shut-eye and limits screen time. A healthy approach to eye care, along with various technological advancements such as the bionic eye, will help young and old alike in seeing clearer and living better.