The latest, most spectacular advances in the area of eye surgery relate to the development of implants for correcting vision defects that up to now have been considered practically untreatable. Replacement of the human retina with implants is in the forefront.
Retinal implants are vision prosthesis for severely visually impaired or blind people in whom as a result of disease, the receptor cells of the retina have lost their function, as occurs for example in the case of advanced retinitis pigmentosa (RP).
Various approaches have been tried to artificially replace the function of degenerated retinal receptor cells. However, the functional principle is essentially identical in all cases: images of the environment are converted to electrical impulses and transmitted to the nerves.
Especially for blind people with retinitis pigmentosa, this promises a return to the ability to see, since in such cases only the upper layers of the retina are damaged and the remainder of the visual apparatus can be used to conduct the artificially generated light impulses. However, a number of years will pass before this technique will be generally used.
The so-called Kamra Inlay has now been tested on 5000 patients throughout the world. This is an implant made of gossamer plastic that is implanted in the cornea in front of the pupil especially in patients with presbyopia [and] may eliminate the need for eyeglasses. A prerequisite is a healthy, sufficiently thick cornea.
In the outpatient surgery, the physician, using an optical laser, loosens a gossamer disk of the outer corneal layer. Then the “Kamra lens” is inserted into the corneal tissue over the pupil. No suturing is necessary. The “Kamra lens,” like a diaphragm in a camera, produces improved depth of focus. On the other hand the implant has drawbacks in terms of distance vision: the distance vision impression becomes somewhat darker and slightly less sharp. Therefore, ophthalmic surgeons implant the lens in only one eye—the nondominant eye, which the user of a camera would normally close when taking a photograph. The other eye compensates for the defective distance vision.
Always up to date with the latest state of the art, the team at the Vienna Private Clinic will be happy to advise you about the opportunities offered by the latest implant technology.
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