A partially sighted British retired engineer has had his central vision restored for the first time in nearly a decade after receiving his bionic eye, The Guardian reports.
Eighty-year-old Ray Flynn suffered from advanced dry age-related macular degeneration — the most common cause of sight loss in the developed world.
But now, Flynn is the first patient with AMD to undergo procedure, and due to a successful operation, Flynn will have a clearer view of Manchester United on the TV and the ability to read recipes without a magnifying glass.
Second Sight Medical Productsdeveloped the Argus II retinal implant that Flynn received. The procedure was four hours long and the implant works by processing video and transforming it into instructions that are sent to a pair of glasses, where they are then transmitted wirelessly to an antenna in the retinal implant.
The signals are sent to the electrode array, which then emits small pulses of electricity that bypass the damaged photoreceptors and stimulate the retina’s remaining cells then transmitting the visual information along the optic nerve to the brain which, finally, creates perceptions of patterns of light.
The implant has successfully been used worldwide on more than 130 patients with retinitis pigmentosa.
Flynn’s system was first turned on July 1 and tests show he could make out the outline of people and objects.
“Before when I was looking at a plant in the garden it was like a honeycomb in the center of my eye,” Flynn told The Guardian. “That has now disappeared. I can now walk round the garden and see things.”