New Treatment for blindness offered at Spire Bushey Hospital

November 2009

A pioneering treatment has been developed for a form of blindness that has been untreatable until now. This is the commonest cause of blindness in the developed world and unlike the 'wet' form of AMD has not previously been treatable.

Age related macular degeration comes in two forms - "wet" and "dry". For the first time there is a treatment for the dry form - the intraocular microtelescope. This is offered by consultant opthalmologist Mr Simon Levy.

What is AMD?

AMD is a condition that affects the retina. The retina is a layer at the back of the eye, containing many specialised cells called photoreceptors that respond to light. The largest number of photorecepters are located at the centre of the retina in a zone called the macula. The macula provides 'central' or 'straight ahead' vision such as reading or seeing faces.

The most common disease of the retina is AMD (Age related macular degeneration). The "dry" form results from wear and tear to the cells of the macula. Although gradual, vision loss may be severe. Dietary supplements such as Lutein may slow its progress but, until now, damage already done by dry AMD has not been treatable.

The Intraocular microtelescope

The intraocular microtelescope is the treatment for "dry" AMD - a lens 6.5mm wide and 2.2mm thick, embedded with miniaturised mirrors capable of magnifying up to 2.5 times. It is implanted into the eye and replaces the natural lens. The procedure itself is similiar to cataract surgery, and works by enlarging objects so they are focused on areas of the macula undamaged by AMD.

For more information or to book an appointment please call 020 8901 5505.

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