82 Year Old Volunteers for Bionic Eye Surgery

We’re getting closer and closer to a bionic reality, folks: an 82-year-old woman in Colorado has volunteered to have an itty-bitty telescope implanted in her eye in a bid to save her sight.

That’s right — tiny telescope, in eyeball. Bionic eye surgery. Here’s the full story:

Doris Ekblad-Olson has “wet” macular degeneration, a condition in which leaking blood vessels in her eyes are destroying her central field of vision. She would like to finish writing a memoir of her time teaching at a seminary in Hong Kong, and doing so with only peripheral vision is a major problem.

Cue the experimental CentraSight, a “pea-sized telescopic device” that has been approved for testing in only a few patients in the U.S. The miniature telescope is implanted behind the iris, and then projects images in the patient’s view onto still-healthy portions of the retina, bypassing the compromised macula (Check out the CentraSight website for more details, and video!)

Ms. Ekblad-Olson’s surgery implanted a CentraSight into her right eye. It occurred in early July, and the Denver Post reports that it takes some time for the eye to heal and to determine if the surgery was successful.

I sure hope the fact that we haven’t had updates on Ms. Ekblad-Olson yet means she’s still healing, and well on her way to seeing again. I’ll certainly keep tabs on her odyssey and this way-cool invention, and report back if I can — you may even say I will keep my eyes peeled.

Maureen is a writer and playwright, writing and playing (mostly) on Earth. Her favourite things are cheese, dental floss, and Elvis. She hopes to live to 85.

  • Elissa Smith

    My first thought: Blind Mag from Repo! the Genetic Opera. 😛