Healthcast: Bionic eye helps eye patients see through blindness

News

Blind for more than 20 years because of degenerative eye disease, a Georgia man now has a new look at life. It’s all thanks to the device doctors are calling the bionic eye.

For the past two decades Walfre Lopez lived in the dark.

“I was around 21 years old when I started to lose my vision,” Lopez said.

He was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a degenerative eye disease. His son, now 21, was just two years old at the time. His daughter, whom he’s never seen, is now 12. While doctors told Lopez and his family there’s nothing they could do, they never gave up hope.

Lopez is the first patient at the University of Florida Health Shand’s Hospital in Gainesville to get the bionic eye. In a complex surgery by ophthalmologist Gibran Khurshid, a computer chip implanted in the back of the eye interacts with electrodes placed on the eye’s surface, making artificial vision possible with special glasses.

“The special glasses, they have a small high definition camera which captures the images.” Gibran Khurshid, MD, Ophthalmologist at UF Health Eye Center explained.

It’s not vision as Lopez used to know it, but it allows him to see shapes and contrasting images.

Dr. Khurshid continued, “We are giving you a 7th sense and then we teach you how to use it as a vision.”

“After 20 something years, it’s really exciting,” said Lopez.

Walfre’s wife, Marioly, said, “Last night I couldn’t sleep because I said, ‘Wow it’s the first day that Walfre can see at least something about me.”

Doctors say the device is not for everyone. It will only help people suffering from blindness caused by diseases affecting the retina, like retinitis pigmentosa. The FDA first approved retinal implants in 2013. Since then, the devices have improved the vision of nearly 900 people world-wide.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Recent Videos

Mud bog in Seymour helps veteran from Houston

Thumbnail for the video titled "Mud bog in Seymour helps veteran from Houston"

Texoma authors celebrate National Indie Author's Day

Thumbnail for the video titled "Texoma authors celebrate National Indie Author's Day"

Overnight Fortnite at Game Time Wichita Falls

Thumbnail for the video titled "Overnight Fortnite at Game Time Wichita Falls"

Overnight Fortnite at Game Time Wichita Falls

Thumbnail for the video titled "Overnight Fortnite at Game Time Wichita Falls"

Archer City community members leave a permanent mark on town's mystery mural

Thumbnail for the video titled "Archer City community members leave a permanent mark on town's mystery mural"

Museum honors Arthur Bea as Legend of North Texas

Thumbnail for the video titled "Museum honors Arthur Bea as Legend of North Texas"

What the Tech: App of the Day—Turo

Thumbnail for the video titled "What the Tech: App of the Day—Turo"

Third defendant in cold case murder sentenced after 6 years

Thumbnail for the video titled "Third defendant in cold case murder sentenced after 6 years"

WF man sentenced to prison in human trafficking case

Thumbnail for the video titled "WF man sentenced to prison in human trafficking case"

Family remembers Wilder McDaniel one year after death

Thumbnail for the video titled "Family remembers Wilder McDaniel one year after death"

Clay Co. Purchases Wells Fargo, Headline: Clay County to purchase Wells Fargo building

Thumbnail for the video titled "Clay Co. Purchases Wells Fargo, Headline: Clay County to purchase Wells Fargo building"

Man gets probation in death of young mother

Thumbnail for the video titled "Man gets probation in death of young mother"
Get FREE Text Alerts
Report It

Latest News

More Local News