Medical Breakthroughs: Telescopic Eyes

MACULAR DEGENERATION: Macular degeneration is the physical disturbance of the center of the retina called the macula. The macula, which is about the size of the capital letter "O," is the part of the retina, which is capable of our most acute and detailed vision. We use the macula for reading, driving, recognizing faces, watching television, and fine work.

Macular degeneration is the leading cause of legal blindness in people over age 55. Even with a loss of central vision, however, color vision and peripheral vision may remain clear. Vision loss usually occurs gradually and typically affects both eyes at different rates.

IS THERE A CURE FOR MACULAR DEGENERATION? At this time, there is no known cure for macular degeneration. In some cases, macular degeneration may be active and then slow down considerably, or even stop progressing for many years.

Today, there are ways to slow macular degeneration, depending on the type and degree of the condition. These range from nutritional intervention to laser surgery of the blood vessels. There are many low vision aids and techniques for maximizing the use of peripheral vision to help patients adapt better to their loss of central vision.

THE IMPLANTABLE TELESCOPE: VisionCare is currently evaluating the implantable miniature telescope in a Phase II/III multi-center trial in the United States. The trial is designed to establish the safety and efficacy of the implantable miniature telescope in patients with moderate to severe central vision impairment due to macular degeneration or Stargardt's disease. The study will last two years. Individuals interested in participating in the clinical trial must:

  • Have bilateral (both eyes), stable, untreatable macular degeneration (AMD) or Stargardt's disease.

  • Not currently have active wet AMD, not have been treated for wet AMD within the past six months, and have no other evidence of active choroidal neovascularization.

  • Not have undergone previous intraocular, corneal, or refractive surgery in the eye to be implanted.

  • Have no other eye disease except for well-controlled glaucoma or cataract.

  • Have visual acuity no better than 20/80, but no worse than 20/630 in both eyes.


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VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies, Inc.
Clinical Trial Info Line:
(888) 883-9500

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