Bionic Eye Allows Blind Man To See

Bionic Eye Allows Blind Man To See

John Jameson was grew up with normal eyesight, but that changed when he contracted a fungal infection, histoplasmosis, more than 40 years ago.

The disease affected his eyes, and left him with blurred, cloudy vision. Many years later, in an attempt to repair the damage with laser eye surgery, he was left more blind than before. But today, through state of the art technology, Jameson has been given the gift of sight once again.

The technology that has made this possible is the Implantable Miniature Telescope (IMT) developed by Dr. Isaac Lipshitz of VisionCare. The IMT was surgically implanted into Jameson by Dr. Christopher Shelby of the WK Eye Institute.

The IMT was designed to help people suffering from age related macular degeneration, a common and debilitating eye disease that results when the retina begins to deteriorate with age. It is the leading cause of blindness in the United States, and affects approximately 180 million people world wide.

While Jameson didn’t suffer from macular degeneration, the damage done to his eyes by the fungal infection was similar in nature, which made him an ideal candidate for the eye surgery.

During the operation, Dr Shelby implanted the IMT into one of Jameson's eyes. The miniature Galilean telescope, which contains wide-angle micro-optical lenses replaced his natural lens, which was removed during the surgery. Working in conjunction with the cornea, the IMT can magnify images to nearly 3 times their actual size, which allows the images to project onto the undamaged parts of his retina. By circumventing the damaged areas of his retina, some of Jameson's vision has been restored.

After the successful procedure, Jameson is now undergoing therapy to adjust to his newly restored vision. He now enjoys seeing for himself things that he had to imagine in his mind for many years, including his wife, whom he has now seen for the very first time. “Every day I wake up and I can see more,” Jameson said. “The world is much prettier than I even imagined. I’ve imagined what [she] looked like and to see actually how beautiful she was.”

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