Being able to restore eyesight to someone whose vision has deteriorated to the point of blindness once sounded like the stuff of science fiction. But modern science and technological advancements are now on the brink of making what was once impossible a reality.
Scientists have been developing a retinal implant that is designed to give blind people a form of artificial vision.
The scientists recognized that two parameters are used to measure sight: field of vision and resolution. They employed these same two parameters to create their system: a pair of camera-equipped smart glasses equipped with a camera and a microcomputer that uses electrodes to stimulate retinal cells.
The camera embedded in the smart glasses captures the images in the wearer’s field of vision. It then sends the data to the microcomputer embedded in the eyeglasses. The microcomputer turns the data into light signals which are transmitted to electrodes in the retinal implant. The electrodes then stimulate the retina so the wearer can “see” a version made up of dots of lights that let the wearer “see” a simplified black-and-white version of the image.
The system has not yet been tested on humans, but the researchers have developed a process for testing by using a virtual reality program. This program simulates what patients would see with the implants. Their simulations have demonstrated that their model is ready for clinical trials.
This development could be an exciting breakthrough for vision care. Still, the best way to keep your eyesight strong is with healthy habits and regular checkups with your eye doctor. Your association and AMBA have an excellent Vision Plan with great benefits and low co-pays. To sign up, visit www.AMBAdentalvision.com or call 866-979-0497.