Tags: man | bionic | eye | see | family

Man's Bionic Eye Lets Him See Family First Time in 10 Years

By    |   Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015 07:15 AM

After a 68-year-old Minnesota man became the 15th person in the country to receive a so-called bionic eye, he got a chance to see his wife and grandchildren for the first time in 10 years.

Allen Zderad of Forest Lake received the bionic eye from the Mayo Clinic after suffering from retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease that deteriorates part of the retina that turns light into vision, reported KARE-TV. Before the surgery, Zderad needed a cane to walk and he could no longer read.



The "bionic eye" is the Second Sight Argus II retinal prosthesis system, which was implanted on Zderad's eye by Dr. Raymond Iezzi, according to CBS News. The implant, along with specially-equipped glasses, helps the patient see light, contours and silhouettes of people and objects.

"It's pulsing light, it's not like regular vision where it's constant," Zderad told the Mayo Clinic medical team. "It's the flash, and I've got to be able to interpret the changes in that shape."

The Second Sight Argus II was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in February 2013 for people with rare, degenerative eye diseases. Patrick Finnerty, of Second Sight Medical Products, told CBS News that the device provides "pixilated type of vision."

"The patient essentially has to try to determine what those flashes of light mean, and in many cases it can help them determine where a window is, light coming in through the window or where a doorway is, essentially help them navigate the world around them," said Finnerty.

Iezzi told KARE-TV that it took the retina prosthesis implant more than 25 years to develop to this point. He inserted 60 electrodes into Zderad's retina during a surgery.

"It's a bionic eye – in every sense of the word," said Iezzi. "It's not a replacement for the eyeball, but it works with interacting with the eye. Mankind has been seeking to cure blindness for 2,000 years or more, but only in the past quarter of a century have we had the electronics and the packaging and all the other things come together to build a retinal prosthesis that could restore sight to the blind."

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After a 68-year-old Minnesota man became the 15th person in the country to receive a so-called bionic eye, he got a chance to see his wife and grandchildren for the first time in 10 years.
man, bionic, eye, see, family
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2015-15-25
Wednesday, 25 Feb 2015 07:15 AM
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