Federal regulators recently approved a device that could be good news for elderly sufferers of age-related macular degeneration. According to the San Jose Mercury News, an implantable telescope can help an estimated 750,000 Americans who have the most severe form of the disease.
"This innovation has the potential to provide many people with an improved quality of life," Dr Jeffrey Shuren, director of the Center for Devices and Radiological Health at the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA), told the news source.
The outlet reported that the approval of the gadget is a great success for VisionCare, who had been working on the telescope for nearly a decade. The pea-sized implant, which is placed behind the patient's iris, can magnify vision 2.2 to 2.7 times and projects images on non-damaged areas of the eye.
While the FDA limited the telescope's use to patients over the age of 75, age-related macular degeneration affects many elderly adults in the United States. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), there are 1.8 million Americans who have the disease, with approximately 7.3 million more at significant risk.