Telescopic Eye

Telescopic Eye

Posted on Sep.09, 2013, by , under Educational, Guest Blogger, Low Vision Info, The Eye

Approved by the FDA just two years ago, the telescopic eye implant for macular degeneration is slowly becoming available in eye offices across the United States. About the size of a pea, the device is implanted in only one eye, and although it certainly is not a cure for all the different vision losses associated with AMD, many patients with the implant are claiming that colors are more vivid, vision is less blurry, faces can be recognized and books can be read again. The device works by magnifying an image and then displaying it onto a healthier part of the retina. However not everyone is a candidate for this new implant. Strict guidelines and criteria must be met before a patient can be considered for this procedure. They are:


At this time the age requirement in the United States is 75 years old while in Canada it is 65 years and older.

End Stage Macular Degeneration

The eligible candidate must have irreversible, End-Stage AMD resulting from either dry or wet AMD. They must no longer benefit from or receive any kind of anti-VEGF eye injections or other medications.


The patient cannot have had cataract surgery in the eye in which the telescope will be implanted.

Positive Simulator Testing

To find out if a patient will benefit from the implanted telescope, the patient is tested using an external telescope simulator. The results of this test will be a determining factor for patient selection. This testing also helps to determine which eye should receive the telescope and what kind of vision improvements the patient may come to expect.

Motivated to Learn

Patients with the implant do not have immediate vision improvement after the outpatient surgery. Several weeks and months of working with a low vision specialist is required to teach the patient how to use the device. The patient also must practice how to use each eye for a different purpose.

Realistic Expectations

Patients must have realistic expectations and understand that this is not a cure for AMD and that there will still be a need for visual aids, like large print books and magnifiers.

Henry L. Hudson, M.D, who was a principal investigator in the clinical trial that lead to FDA approval and lead author of VisionCare’s FDA clinical trial outcomes publications puts it this way:

“Medicare patients who cannot be helped by available AMD therapies now have hope for improved vision and quality of life. For decades ophthalmologists had no answers for these patients. We are excited that the telescope implant is now available to this underserved patient population…”

For more information on the benefits of the telescopic implant visit:


Leslie Degner, RN, BSN