Telescope for Macular Degeneration?
FDA Eyes Implantable Miniature Telescope When All Else Fails to Treat Macular Degeneration
WebMD News Archive
About Macular Degeneration
"The macula is the central-most area of your vision," Lloyd says.
"Think about a map of the United States -- the macula of your retina is
like Kansas City. It's a relatively small piece of real estate compared to the
entire map. But nonetheless, so much of our visual input, which is 70% of what
we experience in life, is processed by that tiny little island of dense
In end-stage macular degeneration, "that's gone," Lloyd says. But
"you still have plenty of other real estate that's not as good, not as rich
"Unfortunately," Lloyd says, the density of the photoreceptors in
these outlying areas is not as precise as it was in the macula... It's not the
same as seeing 20-20, but it's certainly much better."
How the Implantable Telescope Works
The telescope magnifies images by recruiting other parts of the retina to
make up for the loss of the macula. "What it does is it enlarges the image
that the patients can see to compensate for their macular degeneration, Colby
In the telescope's clinical trial, 206 patients took eye tests before
getting the implantable miniature telescope. One year later, 67% of them could
read at least three extra lines on the doctors' eye chart, compared to their
eye test results before getting the telescope.
"One of the patients I implanted actually was able to return to a
long-loved avocation of sculpting that he had had to give up," Colby