Tiny Telescopes Restoring Vision - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/3/02

Tiny Telescopes Restoring Vision

Thirteen-million people suffer from Macular Degeneration. In fact, it's the leading cause of blindness in people over 50 in the U.S. A new experimental surgery may help restore a person's vision and dramatically change their quality of life.

A new clinical trial by the Baylor College of Medicine is surgically implanting a tiny telescope in one eye of their patients. The eye with the telescope is used for central vision, the other eye is for peripheral vision.

"It is a three time magnifying telescope that we actually put inside the eye in the same position that you'd put an implant lens for cataract surger," says M. Bowes Hamill, M.D. an Opthamologist from Baylor.

There are only 14 people in the U.S. who have the surgically-implanted mini-telescope. Again, it is experimental.

The device is made by Visioncare Opthalmic Technologies. The President, Alan Hill, told me in a phone inteview that the device is being studied at three other places across the country: Associated Eye Care, a physicians group practice in Minneapolis, Minnesota, University of California at Irvine, and at the office of Dr. Howard fine in the Eugene/Portland area in Oregon.

There are two types of Macular Degeneration, wet or dry. Hill told me this is the first implant used in patients with either end stage wet or dry Macular Degeneration. Phase two of the study will continue in the fall and the company will be looking for more study participants.

If you'd like more information, you can call Visioncare Opthalmic Technologies at 1-408-872-9393 or (click here).

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