New innovative eye surgery could prevent blindness

Million of people around the world suffered from the age-related macular degeneration (AMD). This is the most common cause blindness among the people. An innovative technique called Intra-Ocular Lenses for Visually Impaired people (IOL VIP) is similar to the cataract surgery. This technique is developed in Milan by low–vision specialists & ophthalmologists.

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The age- related macular degeneration (AMD) damages the macula which is the central part of the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye. It causes scarring & preventing images being sent to brain. This damage causes the gradual deterioration or even loss of the central vision used for activities such as reading, writing, driving & recognizing faces.

The age–related macular degeneration (AMD) is of two types. First is the dry form in which the cells of macula disintegrate gradually. Second & more aggressive is wet form which is caused by the growth of new blood vessels behind retina, which can leak, causing scarring & leading to loss of sight. About 10% of people with AMD develop the wet form, which can be treated with eye injections.

In new technique Intra-Ocular Lenses for Visually Impaired people (IOL VIP), two artificial lenses are inserted into the eye. The natural lens behind the iris is removed & replaced with an artificial one, which diverts images from the scarred macula to healthy retinal tissue. A second lens is then placed in front of the iris.

Together, the two lenses act as a telescope, allowing the images to be focused & processed to the optic nerve & sent to the brain. The procedure can last as little as 30 minutes. It then takes approximately 12 weeks for sight to stabilize. After the operation, computer vision training is provided to train the eye & get the best possible outcome.

“The Intra-Ocular Lenses for Visually Impaired people (IOL VIP), procedure is an exiting new innovation. It's not appropriate for every patient with AMD & further studies are required but when it works, it works well & for some patients it can make a significant improvement to their vision”, said Richard Newsom, a consultant ophthalmic surgeon.

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