It might seem like something out of a Philip K. Dick story, but bionic eyes are no longer pure figments of writers’ imaginations! For the first time in years, a woman has been able to see again with the help of a bionic eye!
The bionic eye is an implant that works together with a pair of glasses
Carmen Torres began to lose her eyesight when she was eighteen years old because of a genetic disease called retinitis pigments which causes the patient to lose his or her eyesight over time. Torres who is now 58 years old, has been completely blind since she was 45 years old.
Last November Torres underwent surgery to have the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System installed. According to Torres’ doctor, the surgery was as one might have guessed reasonably complicated. Dr. Nina Gregori said:
It’s a meticulous technique, one that requires exact, precise measurements of where to place these components on the eye and we really took our time.”
The way the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System works is, the patient wears special glasses which are equipped with a miniature camera that captures what is being seen. The images are then deciphered by a small wearable computer, which sends the images back to the glasses and is then transmitted to the eye implant.
Torres is one of about a hundred patients worldwide who have had the surgery and the first in the state of Florida. Torres needed to learn how to understand the images which were being transmitted to her, and stated it was like learning a new language. Now, nine months later Torres has been fully rehabilitated and has said she can even see the stars when she gazes at the night sky.