New eye surgery gives blind man rudimentary vision

3 May 2012

A British patient who had been blind for more than 20 years has been given rudimentary vision through innovative eye surgery.

Chris James has become the first person in the UK to have been given a bionic eye implant, which is set to improve his vision in years to come.

The process involved surgeons at Oxford's John Radcliffe Hospital placing a chip beneath the patient's retina, with Mr James' operation taking eight hours to complete.

Once the chip was switched on, the patient was able to make out a rough outline of simple shapes, but doctors are hopeful that his brain will adapt to allow him to recognise faces in the future.

Commenting on the results of the surgery, Mr James acknowledged: "I've always had that thought that one day I would be able to see again.

"This is not a cure, but it may put the world into some perspective."

Recently, scientists at Trinity College Dublin claimed that they have identified a new chemical which could slow the effects of age-related macular degeneration if given to a patient through a one-off injection.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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