‘Bionic eye’-Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System helps man see again after 33 years

Over the past few decades technology has seen huge leaps but sometimes it can be both pain and relief. It all depends on how we use technology and here is a great example of technology being a great relief.

Larry Hester, 66, had been blind for 33 years when scientists at Duke University, in North Carolina, helped him see again. The scientists used a new “bionic eye”  which transforms light into images.

As you can see on the video below he was initially shocked when the device was switched on and gradually turned into smile. Meanwhile,  his wife rushed over to share his joy asking “Can you really see?“Can I give him a kiss?”

Huster was so happy that he has been able to see again and expressed his joy, “I just wonder how I have been so lucky,” he said. “Why me? But if I can use what I learn from this to help others with RP, it will not just be for my benefit.”

They also said that they had lost their hope  and an article that Jerry found helped them find this new treatment.

“We’ve lived all these years without having any hope of any change so when I saw it, I was very, very excited,” she said.

The device is called Argus II Retina Prosthesis System and it was approved by FDA back in February 2013.

The eye uses wireless technology to implant a sensor in the eye, which as a result help pick up light signals sent from camera mounted on special eyeglasses. The video camera in the glasses connect to a sensor which entirely bypasses any damaged photoreceptors in the patient’s brain.

“Results of the clinical study showed that the System helped subjects: identify the location or movement of objects and people; recognize large letters, words, or sentences; and helped in other activities of daily life, such as detecting street curbs and walking on a sidewalk without stepping off,” the FDA noted.

Huster is the 7th person in the US to have the eye since its approval. And he will be getting follow-up lesson on how to incorporate the device into his daily life.