Since he was diagnosed eight years ago his eyesight has progressively deteriorated until he could only see clearly out of the corners of his eyes. All statements that address operating performance or events or developments that Second Sight expects or anticipates will occur in the future are forward-looking statements.
Back in 2013, the implant received market approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US, for the treatment of Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) – a degenerative condition that affects the peripheries of patient vision. The men are part of a clinical trial carried out at the Oxford Eye Hospital and King’s College Hospital in London.
So far, though, Paulo Stanga-the lead surgeon for Flynn’s implant-says that “it’s going better than expected…”
There are more than 3 million cases of AMD in the United States every year.
A partially blind elderly Manchester United fan has had his central vision restored for the first time in almost a decade after receiving a successful “bionic eye” transplant.
The retired engineer, who has peripheral vision, is also believed to be the first human being to have the use of combined natural and artificial sight, The Guardian reports. Dry AMD usually develops slowly and causes gradual loss of central vision.
Flynn suffered from the dry form of AMD, which Stanga said is “a common, but untreatable condition” that is the leading cause of slight loss in much of the world and which is becoming more common due to the aging population.
Images are captured by a small, glasses-mounted camera, converted into electrical pulses, and wirelessly transmitted to electrodes implanted onto the surface of the retina.
The electrical pulses are then sent to his brain which converts them into shapes and outlines, allowing Mr Flynn to see by mixing his peripheral vision with the digital information. It is still early days for Flynn, Second Sight, and the team of doctors that installed the implant: Flynn needs to learn to interpret the visual phenomena produced by the implant, and the experts need to tweak the system’s settings to make sure it’s working optimally. Overall 130 patients around the world have previously received the device but all of them suffering from complete vision loss. However those patients, unlike Flynn, had no peripheral vision.
According to Flynn, he was taking things slowly as he got used to the system but was already benefiting in his everyday life.
Cathy Yelf, of the Macular Society, said: “This is an exciting result and we are following the progress of these trials with great interest”. One of the patients using the technology could read for the first time in his adult life.