Telescopic eye surgery helps with macular degeneration - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Telescopic eye surgery helps with macular degeneration

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A common eye disease called macular degeneration affects more than 1.8 million aging adults, but a cutting-edge medical technology is giving many patients a chance to explore life again by restoring their sight.

In 1999, Justine Wise started losing her vision due to macular degeneration, or the premature aging of the retina.

"I just got to the point where I could not even write a check," says Wise. "I could not see anything anymore."

Wise had a cataract removed from her left eye in 2005. She thought that would help, but her vision continued to decline.

She feared the worst. "I'd hate to go through life and not see anything at all," says Wise.

After finding out about the new, cutting edge telescopic implant, Wise was sold. She was one of the first patients in the country to receive the implant.

Under the guidance of Dr. Charlene Grice, the outpatient procedure - which takes about an hour and a half - was performed.

"This is actually the first thing that will improve vision in people with in-stage macular degeneration," says Dr. Grice. "They can go from being profoundly visually challenged to moderately or better, and they have improvement in their lifestyle."

Although the surgery causes the implanted eye to lose peripheral vision, Wise says the trade-off was well worth it.

One more note - in order to be a candidate for this implant, you have to be at least 75 years old and not have had cataract surgery in both eyes.

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