An implantable miniature telescope (IMT) has been demonstrated to improve vision and quality of life for some people affected by end-stage agerelated macular degeneration (AMD). Around 750 IMT units have been implanted worldwide and the technology is now available in Australia.
The telescope is implanted inside the eye with best acuity, providing the patient with greater vision for detailed tasks and a 20 degree visual field. The other eye is left unaided and used for peripheral vision and mobility. Improved visual acuity from the implant can be significant. One prospective study of 206 patients from 28 institutions found the implanted telescope provided an average improvement of three to four lines on the eye chart.1
Designs for Vision hosted the first practice accreditation seminar in September. Training was provided to ophthalmologists and clinical staff from seven practices, enabling evaluation and selection of patients who are suitable for the device. Results from the prospective study and from a Quality of Life survey answered by patients were reviewed. Attendees also learnt skills to provide vision training following IMT surgery. Low vision specialist and Designs for Vision consultant Richard Grills, along with Graham Brown from the manufacturer Centrasight, provided the training based on protocols and information supplied by Hannah Dunbar of Moorefields Hospital London, where a number of the IMT devices have been implanted. Further seminars and workshops are planned. Visit dfv.com.au.