Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss and legal blindness for Americans age 60 and older, affecting up to 15 million in the USA alone. AMD destroys vision by killing cells in the macula--the part of the eye that allows us to see fine detail and to read, drive, and even recognize faces.
There is no cure for AMD, but a pea-sized telescope implant from Israel is offering new hope. Invented by Israeli company VisionCare, the implant, which was FDA approved in 2014, incorporates wide-angle micro-optical lenses in a Galilean telescope design. The tiny telescope works with the cornea to magnify images to over two times their normal size–big enough to be seen by healthy parts of the eye, not just the damaged macula.
The innovation comes from Israel, but the benefits travel the world.