World’s first bionic eye implant helps Manchester man see again
With the amount of medical histories being created around the globe of late, bionic eye implant was definitely on the cards. In what is the world’s first implant of its kind, surgeons in Manchester, UK, have implanted a bionic eye in 80-year-old pensioner Ray Flynn affected with advanced dry age-related muscular degeneration. Partially sighted Flynn, suffering with this common eye problem that leads to complete loss of central vision is reported to have an improved vision now. Flynn has received a retinal implant and a pair of glasses embedded with a mini camera. The glasses convert video images into electric signals which are picked up wirelessly by electrodes on the retinal implant.
Flynn was implanted with the Argus II retinal implant at the Manchester Royal Eye hospital last month. The procedure took about four hours. This unique implant allows the patient to receive images as electrical signals, which are transmitted to the brain where the visual patterns are interpreted and the patient can learn to see again.
Owing to the muscular degeneration Flynn has lost his central vision, though his peripheral vision was intact. Using the bionic eye, his central vision is being restored steadily. So, the implant is basically working in combination with Flynn’s peripheral vision.
According to a report in the Guardian, ‘Flynn’s bionic eye has been turned on since July 1, and tests have revealed that he can see outlines of people and objects, even with closed eyes.’
Presently, Flynn is only getting used to the technology in the eye, so there is no real information on how much he can see. Assuming from how Flynn is benefiting with the bionic eye (video below), the Argus II retinal implant developed by Second Sight Medical Products is going to help his vision.