Bionic eye Implants, Helping Blind People See
Imagine yourself talking to a person who was born blind. Imagine describing the rainbow to him/her. How would you do it? It’s quite a bit hard, isn’t it? Imagine a moment when instead of describing the beauty of the world to a blind person, you can let them see it for themselves?
The Bionic eye, which is a visual prosthesis, is an experimental visual device intended to restore functional vision in those suffering from partial or total blindness. Through the years, the bionic eye has improved, especially in the year 2014 when dramatic improvements have been noted, finally allowing the legally blind to see as developers have long dreamed.
How it works
The bionic eye consists of a device embedded into the eye, a video camera in a pair of glasses, and a video processing unit carried by the patient. The bionic eye implant works by first receiving its visual information from a miniature camera which is mounted on glasses worn by the patient.
The images are then converted into electrical pulses and are transmitted wirelessly to a collection of electrodes attached to the retina. After which, the electrodes stimulate the remaining retina’s remaining cells which send the information to the brain.
The way that the retina reacts to electric signals in turn affects bionic imaging and the patients might see bands or streaks a result of cell over-stimulation.
It has been reported that people with these implants have the ability to distinguish light from dark, and they can recognize the outlines of objects in their view.However, the artificially created vision is also distorted in certain distinguishing ways.
More about the bionic eye
Also known as the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, the bionic eye was approved by the FDA in 2013 and still continues its path to progress. It is considered as the world’s first implanted device to treat people with one of the leading causes of blindness, which is retinitis pigmentosa as well as to help those who went blind with macular degeneration to detect light.
The operation, which was held at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, is the first time it has been implanted in a patient with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) which affects at least half a million people in the UK to some degree.