Blind World

New Implantable Lens Gives Hope to the Vision-Impaired.

September 30, 2004.

By Darla Sitton,
The 700 Club. (CBN News).

A new vision correction procedure, called the implantable lens, is having amazing results. It is being used on people who have medical problems that prevent them from having laser surgery.

This ground-breaking technique gave one woman new sight, and a new lease on life.

Julie Tatar could hardly see. She could not even read the top line of an eye chart.

"It creates a lot of challenges, just as far as navigating daily life," said Tatar

But because her vision was so poor and laser (lasik) surgery wasn't an option, she was the perfect candidate for the new experimental procedure called an "implantable" lens.

Dr. John Vukich, from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said, "This is a significant step forward. It allows a significantly larger number of individuals to enjoy clear vision without glasses."

It works like this: doctors numb the eye with drops, and cut a small incision in the cornea. And then they insert a tiny, soft lens over the iris called a "star lens."

The surgery takes approximately 12 minutes, and yields amazing results.

After surgery, Julie read the eye chart with gratifying results. The doctor said, "That's wonderful. It's looking great."

One study followed implantable lens patients for three years, and found that 95 percent of them had 20/40 vision or better, which means they can drive vehicles without their glasses. And at least 60 percent had 20/20 vision.

Results were as good as laser (lasik) surgery.

Doctors warn, however, that any surgery could have complications, although side effects with this one are minimal, less than one percent.

And for Julie, it was worth the risk. "It feels like a miracle, after 38 years of wearing glasses," she said.

Research shows that up to three million Americans could benefit from implantable lenses.

Implantable lenses have been available in Canada and Europe for 10 years now. They are more expensive than laser surgery, but there is no permanent re-shaping to the eye, like laser (lasik), and they can be removed, if desired.

The Christian Broadcasting Network, Inc. 2004.

End of article.

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