Novel procedure enables ‘blind’ man to drive again

May 20th, 2009 - 2:11 pm ICT by ANI  

London, May 20 (ANI): Nigel Cook had to hand back his driving licence when his sight deteriorated but a new procedure has enabled him to see so well that he is now allowed to drive again.

Cook, a former police officer, suffered from macular degeneration, a condition that obscured his central vision with a dark fog.

However, after surgeons implanted two tiny plastic lenses in each of his eyes, he can now see.

It may not be a cure for the disease, but it overcomes the defect on the retina that causes the blind spot.

“It has changed my day-to-day life beyond recognition,” Sky News quoted Cook as saying.

“It’s so exciting. To be able to do routine things without struggling to work out who it is you are looking at, it’s fantastic,” he added.

The new lenses act together like a telescope, magnifying the image in the eye.

So while the dark central blind spot remains the same size, the image of what patients are looking at is bigger, so they can make out details previously hidden from them.

Andrew Luff has helped to pioneer the technique at the Optegra Eye Hospital.

“Patients who are struggling to carry out activities of daily living may suddenly find it easier to cook meals or find their way around the house,” he said.

“I’ve also had good reports that patients are able to play golf rather better than they could before,” he added. (ANI)

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