Health Report 5/15/13 Macular Degeneration

May 15th, 2013

Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of severe vision loss in Americans 60 and older. Once it progresses, there aren't many treatment options.
Now there's a high-tech way that doctors are helping patients see better.

There's beauty all around. But Macular Degeneration stole Jackie Carswell's central vision.

Jackie Carswell, Macular Degeneration patient, said: "I couldn't read a recipe. I couldn't work a microwave. I just couldn't hardly do anything. I asked the doctor one day, I said 'is there anything, anything else that can be done for this.'"

Doctors suggested she try this miniature telescope.

Susan A. Primo, OD, MPH Director, Vision and Optical Services, Emory Eye Center, said: "It contains lenses or optics that make an image magnified."

Surgeons removed Jackie's natural lens and replaced it with the tiny implant that enlarges objects.

Susan Primo, "It's a three-times telescope, which means, theoretically, it improves vision by almost three-times."

The telescope is only implanted in one eye.
Susan Primo, "Now, these folks are bi-ocular. One eye for one thing, one eye for the other."

It takes about twelve weeks of training and rehab for patients to master the new device. In one study, nine out of ten patients with the telescopic implant improved vision by at least two lines on the eye chart.

The telescopic implant is helping Jackie keep a lot of her independence.

Jackie Carswell, "I was determined that I'd make it, and I'd do it, and I have, and I am!"


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