iolAMD – A Macular Degeneration Treatment Breakthrough

iolAMD – A Macular Degeneration Treatment Breakthrough

Posted on Jan.22, 2015, by , under Eye Conditions, Eye Health, Living With Low Vision, Low Vision Info, Low Vision Tips, The Eye

The iolAMD is a breakthrough in the treatment of macular degeneration.  Patients are reporting that once the new lenses are implanted they are able to see faces, enjoy colors, drive and read again.  These telescopic lenses work differently than other macular degeneration implants in several ways.  It is available to a wider range of patients with vision problems, there is no need for low vision rehab after they are implanted,  and the procedure is less invasive, without even any need for stitches.

Who Benefits?

Unlike other macular degeneration implants that are just for those with advanced AMD,  the iolAMD can, according to the iolAMD website,  “help patients with early, intermediate and end stage dry AMD and established wet forms of AMD. iolAMD can also help patients with other forms of macular disease including diabetic maculopathy, macular holes, myopic degeneration, diabetic retinopathy and hereditary retinal diseases such as Stargardt’s and Best’s.”

Patients are first seen in a doctor’s office with a simulation test to determine whether or not they would benefit from the implants. If there is vision improvement with the office test, it is highly likely that the lenses would also offer improved vision.

The Procedure

Two tiny lenses are implanted through a minimally invasive procedure, using a micro-incision – much like a cataract operation – but even less invasive. The incision is only 3 mm compared to 8-11 mm for other implants.  Because the incision is so small, no stitches or sutures are needed. The procedure is done in 5” to 10” under a local anaesthetic. The smaller incision means quicker healing and less surgical risk.  The natural lens is removed and two iolAMD lenses are actually “injected” into the eye.   Unlike other telescopic lens implants, each eye receives a lens. The two lenses actually work together in two ways:

  1. They provide slight magnification to the images that appear on the retina.
  2. They divert the images from the unhealthy macula to a healthier portion of the retina

It takes about 1-2 months for the eyes and brain to adjust to the new way of seeing. These optic lenses were developed by eye surgeon Dr Bobby Qureshi and optical physicist Professor Pablo Artal.  The unique characteristics of the lenses means there is little to no distortion and significant improved vision.

Where Is It Available

As of this writing the lenses are available in the United Kingdom, France, Italy and Germany.  The U.S. is still waiting for FDA approval.   To watch a video on how these optic lenses work visit:

iolAMD Implant


Leslie Degner, RN, BSN