In just the last ten years or so, technologies have been developed that help people see better. As medical research advances in search of the best possible treatments and drugs, some technological solutions offer people the opportunity to see now.
„Second Sight i Argus II“
One of the pioneers in the field of vision technology, “Second Sight” was created in 1998, and another version of the product is currently being produced.
It is made of two parts:
The implant requires 4-hour surgery. The device is surgically implanted in the eye at the top of the retina and along the length of the outer part of the eye. Includes antenna, electronic device and electrode field. External equipment includes glasses, VPU (video precessing unit) and cable.
In the healthy eye, photoreceptors (rods and cones) in the retina convert light into electrochemical impulses that travel to the brain, where they are converted into images. If photoreceptors do not function properly, the brain cannot produce an image. “Argus II” is designed to bridge damaged photoreceptors.
A miniature video camera housed in the patient’s glasses is aimed at the object. The image is sent to the VPU that the patient is wearing. It is then processed and sent back to the glasses via a cable. This information is sent wirelessly to the antenna in the implant and signals are sent to the field of electrodes, which emit small pulses of electricity.
These pulses bypass the damaged photoreceptors and stimulate the remaining cells. Visual information is then sent to the brain to create a perception of light patterns that patients can learn to interpret as an object. This requires demanding training in order for such a system to be used effectively.
Apart from this device, there are some other technologies and many aids are still under development. Some of the existing ones are “eSight”, “CentraSight” and bionic lenses.