(http://www.MacularDegenerations.com) After a surgical procedure that almost seems like it was lifted out of the pages of a futuristic novel, 86-year-old Justine Wise has regained sight that had been lost due to age-related macular degeneration (AMD), reported the Post & Courier on August 21.
On July 13, Wise, from Tiffin, Ohio, underwent a surgical procedure at Storm Eye Institute, which is affiliated with the Medical University of South Carolina, that resulted in her getting a tiny telescope placed in her right eye. The surgery was so successful in Wise’s case that, within a few days of the procedure, she was able to view people and things positioned right before her for the first time in years. According to the article, Wise is the first person to have this surgery in the Palmetto State region. While grateful for the ability to get back some of her vision, she said that her goal is to progress until she can read again.
Dr. Charlene Grice, who conducted Wise’s surgery, said in the article that the telescope implants are important because there was previously very little that surgeons were able to do for people living with end-stage AMD. She said that available options before telescope implant surgery became available included recommending that patients go for low-vision therapy and learn to utilize a cane properly.
The doctor added that candidates for the surgery must be at least 75 years old, be in the end-stage of AMD, be a good candidate for therapy and training for half a year post-surgery, and must be cataract surgery free in one eye. She added in the article that the surgical procedure may ultimately advance to the point where it won’t matter whether or not patients have undergone cataract surgery.
According to the article, the National Eye Institute notes that AMD is not at all uncommon for persons who are 50 years old and older. In fact, the eye condition is the primary cause of vision loss in older persons. AMD progressively damages the macula to the extent that a centralized blind spot results while peripheral vision stays intact.
According to the article, those living with AMD could ultimately lose the ability to do things such as reading, driving, shopping, writing and watching television. Moreover, AMD can trigger bouts of depression and even physical problems.
The National Eye Institute, noted the article, projects that 3 million people living in the U.S. will likely have AMD by 2020, compared to around 1.75 million presently.