Dr. Randolph Kinkade has been recently interviewed on WFSB's Your Health and WTNH's Health News discussing this new technology. Dr. Kinkade, a Connecticut optometrist, is a founding member of the International Academy of Low Vision Specialists.
About the size of an eraser tip, the Implantable Miniature Telescope shows promise for some patients who are legal blind due to macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is the leading cause of permanent vision loss in older Americans.
"I have been fitting Spectacle Miniature Telescopes in glasses for improving eyesight for over twenty years to help patients improve their ability to read, write and watch television", says Dr. Kinkade. "For certain patients we now have the ability to replace a developing cataract in their eye with a micro-telescope that returns some very useful vision."
The newly FDA and Medicare approved telescope is placed in only one eye. The telescope implant focuses and enlarged image onto healthier parts of the macula and retina at the back of the eye. The other eye provides the necessary peripheral or side vision for walking and performing other tasks.
Dr. Kinkade's treatment role is with candidate selection and determining which eye gets the implant. He also spends considerable time with patients after surgery guiding them to use their new vision. Dr. Mark Milner will be doing the surgery.
"The implant is not a cure for macular degeneration, but a rehabilitation tool to return some very important vision", says Dr. Kinkade. "Patients will need to relearn to see and use additional low vision aids to maximize their vision."