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Scoping Out A Treatment For Macular Degeneration

September 24, 2009

More than 15 million Americans are affected by some degree of macular degeneration, a progressive disease that can lead to severe vision loss. In its most advanced form, End-Stage AMD, the area in the back of the eye responsible for detailed vision is irreversibly damaged, causing a central vision blind spot. A new procedure called CentraSight has been developed to treat it by implanting a tiny telescope inside the eye. Smaller than a pea, the telescope implant uses quartz-glass wide-angle micro-optics to project the objects the patient is looking at on to the healthy area of the light-sensing retina not degenerated by the disease. FDA clinical studies involving 28 leading ophthalmic centers and over 225 patients demonstrated statistically significant and clinically meaningful results for improved visual acuity and quality of life for patients with End-Stage AMD, enabling them to regain independence and reengage in everyday activities such as reading the newspaper, watching TV and preparing meals. It also improves how patients interact in social settings as it may allow them to recognize faces and see the facial expressions of family and friends. CentraSight patients on average were able to see 3 to 4 lines better on the eye test chart and demonstrated improved quality of life on a National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire-25, reporting that they are less limited and less dependent on others in their activities related to vision. The telescope implant was well tolerated in the eye with the most common complication being related to inflammation. Pending CentraSight’s FDA approval, talk to your retina specialist or ophthalmologist to determine if the procedure is right for you.