A US artist who stopped painting several years ago when she lost her central vision to end-stage age-related macular degeneration has had some of her sight restored.
Virginia Bane, 89, has had a miniature telescope implanted into her eye in a relatively new type of procedure performed by surgeons at the University of California, Davis, to cope with the condition, which is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly.
"Colours are more vibrant, beautiful and natural, and I can read large print with my glasses. I haven't been able to read for the past seven years. I look forward to being able to paint again," she said in a statement released by the university.
Richard Van Buskirk, an optometrist with the Society for the Blind in Sacramento, explained that the eye with the implant and the untreated eye work together to restore some vision. He said that the telescopic implant is used to see details, while the untreated eye provides peripheral vision to help with mobility.
According to the university, 50 patients in the US have been treated using this method, with eight individuals over 75 with stable, but untreatable end-stage, age-related macular degeneration taking part.