Four years ago, doctors announced to the British pensioner Irene da Silva a disappointing diagnosis - age-related macular degeneration, which meant, in the long term, a complete loss of vision. At that time, medicine was powerless against this ailment.
Salvation came in the full sense of the word from outer space. Irene, 81, became one of the first patients on whom British ophthalmologists tested a revolutionary eye implant, the idea of which was prompted by ... a defect in the Hubble telescope.
The implant is called iolAMD. It is a device consisting of two lenses - convex and concave, made of flexible but tough plastic used in space telescopes. It is implanted in the folded eye through a 3mm incision at the edge of the iris. After insertion, the lenses are staggered 2 mm under the cornea in the so-called posterior chamber, where they are then deployed.
This arrangement magnifies the image by 1, 3 times, and since the lenses are displaced, the incoming visual information is projected from the center of the macula onto healthy areas, which allows you to see the object.
A similar operation was once developed by NASA specialists to correct an image defect on the Hubble telescope. According to statistics, about 600 thousand Britons suffer from degenerative changes in vision. The operation cost Irene da Silva 10 thousand pounds (6 thousand operations and 4 thousand implants), but in the future, according to doctors, as this technology develops, the cost of treatment may decrease to 600 pounds.