Eye Technology of the Future: The Bionic Eye
According to All About Vision, approximately 40 million people currently have blindness. If you thought that number was depressing, they estimate that another 124 million are impacted with low vision.
Because of those alarmingly high numbers, the best researchers on the planet are committed to developing ways to quickly restore eyesight using new innovations. One of these technological advancements is truly remarkable; the bionic eye.
A prosthetic eye (also called an artificial eye) simply replaces the physical structure and the appearance of an eye due to eye removal due to trauma, pain, or disease. All About Vision explains how a bionic eye works inside the existing eye structures and in partnership with your brain. In other words, they are designed to achieve functional vision goals instead of physical and cosmetic ones.
According to Future Timeline, the development of the bionic eye prototype first began in 2002 and was lovingly called Argus I. It featured 16 electrodes and provided the most basic functionality that allowed blind patients to detect when lights were switched on and off, describe how an object was moving, count different items, and locate and differentiate between particular things in their environment. The Argus II came just five years later and included 60 electrodes (quite a jump in a short amount of time!) Today, eye implants in this decade and the next will likely provide smoother and more colorful visual qualities rather than the monotone view of the world that today’s devices sometimes offer.
Today, millions of people face the loss of their precious eyesight from degenerative eye diseases. Fortunately, there is technology available that reproduces some of the functions of parts of the eye that are crucial to vision, allowing users to perceive movement and shapes adequately. While the field of retinal prosthesis still has a long way to go, for the people who currently use it, the bionic eye greatly enriches the way they see the world.
When it comes to making sure your eyes are as healthy as possible and incorporating the latest eye technology into our practice, trust your friends at Carson Optical. Because Carson Optical is family-owned and operated (and has been since 1972), we make it our mission to build strong, personal relationships with each of our valued customers.
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