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Telescopic Eye Implant Approved by FDA for Elderly

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved a miniature eye implant that promises to drastically improve vision in the elderly by replicating and enhancing the eye's natural lens.

According to CBC News, VisionCare Ophthalmic Technologies got the go-ahead from the FDA to continue implanting a miniature telescope into the eyes of elderly people who are suffering from end-stage macular degeneration. The mini-telescope acts as a lens, magnifying (by two or three times) and then projecting images onto the healthy part of the retina. The implant is only placed in one eye, because the other eye is used for peripheral vision. During clinical testing on patients older than 75, who are most at risk for degenerative eye disease, 75-percent of the 200 participants had their vision improve "from severe or profound impairment to moderate impairment."

The FDA's approval of this procedure means a follow-up study will be conducted on the aforementioned patients, and also paves the way for another 770 folks to get the implant -- as long as they can afford the $15,000 price tag, and can handle the post-op rehab. While the surgery is pricey, the idea is spectacular -- if only because it means that we'll see our own grandchildren more clearly, or when heading to the supermarket on Saturday morning we may be free from visually impaired grannies rolling in their Buicks. [From: CBC News, via: Engadget]

Tags: elderly, eye, eyes, fda, FdaApproval, FoodAndDrugAdministration, health, implant, implants, MacularDegeneration, science, surgery, telescope, top, Vision, VisionCare, VisioncareImplantableTelescope