Updated: Thursday, 24 Jan 2013, 7:04 PM EST
Published : Thursday, 24 Jan 2013, 7:04 PM EST
CHESHIRE, Conn. (WTNH) -- It is not a cure but it is the latest option for people with macular degeneration. People with macular degeneration are not able to see the faces of family and friends and they are not able to read but this new implant will give patients that ability.
Their center vision is obstructed but now there is an implantable device designed to improve their quality of life.
"This is about an eighth of an inch in diameter," said Dr. Randolph Kinkade, Low Vision Optometrist. "The patient will not feel this."
The recently FDA approved Implantable Miniature Telescope is designed for people with macular degeneration 75 years and older.
"This is for people who have up to now been told, sorry we just don't have any treatment for you. There is no medical treatment, there is no eyeglasses that can restore or enhance your vision," said Dr. Kinkade.
The IMT is only offered at Vision Dynamics in Cheshire. Optometrist Dr. Kinkade is among the team of experts.
"You're not going to be able to drive and play tennis but you will recognize your family across the room, you will be able to watch television," said Dr. Kinkade.
Here's how it works.
"This goes where the normal implant would go after cataract surgery," said Dr. Kinkade.
Basically the natural lens is taken out and the IMT is put in its place, as shown in the video provided by Dr. Kinkade. The patient must not have had prior cataract surgery and the telescopic lens is only implanted into one eye.
"The reason the implant is only put in one eye is because it gives a magnified central image through the telescope. It would be like looking through a tube. You do not have your side or peripheral vision. So we need the other eye to help people walk and move around their environment to see their surroundings that gives the side vision," said Dr. Kinkade.
Surgery is followed by several months of therapy.
"After surgery, the therapy is the most critical component. To re-teach the brain to use one eye for a certain task and the other for the other."
This is so new they are still screening for ideal candidates to undergo the procedure.
To watch Dr. Kinkade's video, visit www.youtube.com/watch?v=AutAj2LCL0A