Researchers in collaboration of tech and medical experts are developing new ways for permanent restoration of the sight amongst the affected. The revolution is due to the fact that more than 40 million people around the world suffer from blindness while other 120 million are faced with low vision. To aid these patients, the coming of bionic eye or bionic eye implants is no less than a blessing and a hope of seeing the world in all its glory.
There’s one common goal bionic eye scientists wish to achieve and that’s development of technology to cater visual disabilities with bionic eyes. The technology is still in its infancy phase but ongoing research and development would surely make it commercial in times to come. While several bionic eye implants are being developed, only one’s available for blindness caused by specific eye diseases. It’s expected that more and more people would benefit from the technology soon.
Bionic eyes – Going beyond prosthetic implants
An important fact that a bionic eye isn’t the same as a prosthetic eye! That being said, prosthetic eyes are also known as “artificial” or “glass eyes” and they literally substitute appearance and physical structure of an eye that has been removed following injury, pain, deformity or lethal disease. Bionic eye implants on the contrary, work inside of the existing eye anatomy or in the brain and designed to achieve visual function goals, other than physical and cosmetic aims.
Blindness isn’t caused by one single disease or factor and the same goes for cure which comes with many different possibilities. For a bionic eye to work, retina specialist in Dubai would first perform a detailed analysis of the severity and overall patient’s health to know underlying reasons of vision loss.
Our ability to see begins as light enters the eye after which the cornea focuses it on the retina at the eyeball’s rear. The light sensitive cells then convert the light into electrical energy which is transmitted to the brain thus giving us a clear picture.
The process among the blind is different due to damaged or diseased lens or cornea and perhaps inability of the retina to perceive light. Signal is thus lost somewhere along the visual trajectory in the brain. The development of different bionic eye models is aimed to serve various areas of the visual path so as to cater patients with different anomalies, all leading to blindness ultimately.
Although corneal transplants and cataract surgery can replace the natural eye lens due to defects or cloudiness, bionic eyes are the only retinal implants being commercially approved.
The appropriate subjects/receivers of bionic eyes
FDA in the U.S. approved just one commercially available bionic eye device known as the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System. It was developed by Second Sight; a California-based company. Argus II promises restoration of visual perception among hundreds of patients with high-grade retinitis pigmentosa. The device is further tested on people with a more common eye anomaly known as Age Related Macular Degeneration (ARMD).
A ray of hope for the blind
Future iterations and development seems to be far more advanced than the current Argus II, giving a ray of hope for the blind to see the word again.
This content is proudly offered by Moorfields Eye Specialists in Dubai.