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What is CentraSight® and the Telescope Implant?

by Jeff Dailey

CentrasightAge-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a disease of the retina. End-Stage AMD is the most advanced form of the disease and the leading cause of irreversible central vision loss and legal blindness in individuals over the age of 60. This blind spot is different than the visual disturbances experienced with cataracts (clouding of the eye’s lens) and is not correctable by cataract surgery or eyeglasses. Side vision, or peripheral vision, is not affected by AMD, but is too low resolution to make up for lost central vision. At this time, there is no cure for End-Stage AMD and no way to reverse its effects, but there is a novel treatment available for qualifying candidates.
What is CentraSight® and the Telescope Implant?
FDA approved, the pea-sized telescope implant is intended to improve distance and near vision in people who have lost central vision in both eyes because of End-Stage AMD. The telescope implant is surgically placed inside one eye. The implanted eye provides central vision; the other eye provides peripheral vision.
The telescope implant is not a cure for End-Stage AMD. It will not restore your vision to the level it was before you had AMD, and it will not completely correct your vision loss. Patients with this level of AMD have had to cease driving due to their vision; after the telescope procedure, although near and distance vision may improve, driving will not be possible because the implant does not restore normal vision.
Are you or a loved one a candidate?
In general, to be considered a potential candidate for the telescope implant an ophthalmologist must first confirm that you:

  • Have irreversible, End-Stage AMD resulting from either dry or wet AMD
  • Are no longer a candidate for drug treatment of your AMD
  • Have not had cataract surgery in the eye in which the telescope will be implanted
  • Meet age, vision, and cornea health requirements

After the ophthalmologist confirms that you are a potential candidate, your vision will be tested using an external telescope simulator. The results of the test and visual training/rehabilitation evaluation visits will help you and your ophthalmologist decide if you are likely to benefit from the CentraSight treatment program, which includes an out-patient surgery followed by low vision rehabilitation.
The telescope implant is not a cure that “sees” for you. For the telescope implant to work, patients need to work with low vision specialists as well as practice with the device at home.
Realistic Goals:

  • Recognizing faces of family and friends
  • Watching television
  • Reading
  • Various hobbies like painting, knitting or gardening

Unrealistic Goals:

  • Driving
  • Seeing a golf ball in flight
  • Playing tennis
  • Never having to use a magnifying glass again

Visual goals can be assessed with an external telescope simulation during pre-surgery screening visits. An ophthalmologist will describe the risks and benefits of the telescope implant, including the risks of surgery.
The CentraSight treatment is a Medicare eligible procedure. Additional information can be found at www.CentraSight.com or by calling 877-99-SIGHT (7-4448)
1 Hudson HL, et al. Ophthalmology. 2006.

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