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Monday, 13 October 2014

Man Sees Again After 33 Years of Blindness

Larry Hester lost his sight as a young man due to a degenerative disorder called retinitis pigmentosa. It left him blind for 33 years of his life. But thanks to a new technology, Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, Hester got the chance to see again through a bionic eye. His wife was very excited.

The Argus II is the first implanted device to treat people with retinitis pigmentosa, which can affect people as early as their teens and twenties, and has no cure. It is made of a small electronic device that’s implanted in the eye, a video camera in a pair of glasses, and a video processing unit carried by the patient. The video camera in the glasses stores images which become an electrical signal; they're then sent to the implant, which stimulates the retina. And even though the users of Argus II can only differentiate between light and shadows, it’s a major step forward for them.

Hester said in the video, describing the simplicity of his vision. “The light is so basic and probably wouldn't have significance to anybody else. But to me it’s meaning I can see light. And we can go from here.”

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