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As far as the eye can see

HOUSTON (December17, 2013)

Imagine no longer being able to see the expression on a loved one's face, the road ahead or even the words on this page. Age-related macular degeneration takes away the sharp central vision needed to do these tasks, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 7.3 million Americans are at risk for the disease. No cure exists, but early detection and therapies can slow its progression. One of the newer procedures available to patients with late-stage dry AMD is the Implantable Miniature Telescope. The size of a pea, it sits behind the iris and renders an enlarged central image onto healthy retinal areas surrounding the degenerated macula, reducing the area of the blind spot and making images recognizable again. Dr. Nan Wang, an ophthalmologist with The Robert Cizik Eye Clinic and affiliated with Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, is trained to perform the procedure. "It allows the damaged eye to magnify, leaving the other as the scanning eye," she said. "The combination can overcome the deficit. Vision is not perfect, but much better."

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