If you or a loved one are having trouble reading and recognizing faces, end-stage age-related macular degeneration (AMD) may be the reason. Glenn Stoller, MD of Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island (OCLI)’s Lynbrook office, along with fellow partner Gerard D’Aversa, MD, were guests on SiriusXM® DOCTOR RADIO’s Rehabilitative Medicine program (Ch. 81). They discussed the new telescope implant procedure that may help people see again. The show aired on Monday, September 23, beginning at 6am EST. The telescope implant surgery is being performed nationwide on patients 75 years and older who are suffering from end-stage AMD. Listeners were able to call-in to the show and ask the doctors questions about AMD and the surgery.
A tiny telescope, about the size of a pea, is implanted inside one eye, behind the iris (the colored part of the eye). While it does not cure AMD, a leading cause of blindness in the elderly, it could help those who are legally blind resume reading, recognize faces and hopefully, increase their level of independence. This first-ever telescope implant received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010. The cost for the telescope implant and visits associated with the treatment program are Medicare eligible.
The implant is currently restricted to patients 75 years and older, in keeping with FDA guidelines. In general, to be considered a potential candidate for the telescope implant the ophthalmologist must first confirm that potential candidates 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
· Are at least 75 years old
· Have distance vision no better than 20/160 but no worse than 20/800
Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island (OCLI) is now screening patients with end-stage AMD to determine if they are potential candidates to receive the telescope implant. “We are very excited about the telescope implant and have received a lot of inquiries about it,” said Glenn Stoller, MD, Partner and Retinal Specialist at OCLI. “It has been demonstrated to improve vision and quality of life for suitable individuals.”
For more information about the telescope implant, please visit www.ocli.net or call 1-866-733-6254.
About Macular Degeneration: Macular degeneration is an age-related disease that affects those 55 and older. It destroys the eye’s macula, the light-sensitive cluster of cells in the retina at the rear of the eye. People with the condition can only see fragments before them, with a large black spot in the middle of their field of vision. In its most advanced stages, the spot widens and wipes out most of the visual field. There are two forms of macular degeneration, wet and dry. The wet form is caused by blood vessels that leak in the retina, destroying the retinal and causing scar tissue. The dry form is characterized by the accumulation of debris called drusen and retinal detachment.