Implantable Telescope Technology
The CentraSight treatment program uses a tiny telescope that is implanted inside the eye. The telescope implant, created from VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies' Implantable Telescope Technology, has been demonstrated to improve vision and quality of life for suitable individuals affected by End-Stage AMD. The tiny telescope - about the size of a pea - is implanted inside one eye, behind the iris (the colored part of the eye). The implant is so small, it may be barely noticeable in your eye.
Technology Spotlight: 'How It Works'
Once implanted inside the eye, the telescope projects images in your field of view onto healthy areas of your central retina outside of the degenerated macula. The image is enlarged, reducing the effect the blind spot has on central vision. Normally the healthy areas outside of the macula are used for peripheral or "side vision." The magnification provided by the telescope implant (2.2X or 2.7X) makes it possible to see or discern the central vision object of interest.
What About the Other Eye?
End-Stage AMD affects detailed central vision in both eyes. It does not affect peripheral vision. Peripheral vision is low resolution (blurry). You can't use it to read, but you can use it to detect objects and movement. In the CentraSight treatment program, a person uses the eye with the telescope implant for detailed central vision (such as reading "WALK" signs at a crosswalk). The other eye is used for peripheral vision (such as checking to see if cars are coming from the side).
How Do I Use It?
The telescope implant does not limit your natural eye movements, and does not require you to move your entire head, as you have to do with external magnifying appliances. You can use natural eye movements to see things that are close and far away from you, such as reading printed materials or watching television. As a tradeoff to improving central vision, the peripheral (side) vision will be restricted in the eye with the telescope implant. However, your peripheral vision will stay the same as before the surgery in your non-implanted eye.
Is It Difficult to Use?
The brain is highly adaptable even at older ages. As a patient in the CentraSight program, you will work with CentraSight low vision specialists to develop the skills you need to use your new vision. One of the skills you need to learn is how to switch your viewing back and forth between the eye with the telescope implant and the eye without the implant. You will also need to wear eye glasses and may need to sometimes use a hand-held magnifier with the telescope-implanted eye to read or see fine details clearly. However, in general, less magnification will be needed after your surgery.