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Blind man has vision partly restored with "bionic Eye" and sunglasses

Posted by James on 26th Feb 2015

I’m delighted to be able to share another inspirational, sunglasses-related story with you today. 

It was reported this week that a blind man from Minnesota, has seen his wife for the first time in 10 years. This was thanks to a so-called bionic eye implant and some specially adapted sunglasses.

An amazing medical breakthrough

Mr Zderad lost his eyesight following a disease and feared he would never see again. Speaking after seeing his wife, he said: “I turned to where Carmen was sitting and for the first time in 10 years, I could pick out a shape.” 

In a video released by The Mayo Clinic, Mr Zderad is seen reaching out his hands to meet his wife’s hands. The couple then hug and burst into tears of emotion, as their family and friends watch on.

Mr Zderad’s vision is not restored fully. At this point, he is only able to see outlines and “flashes of black and white shapes”. He’s unable to spot detail or see in color. However, this represents an amazing achievement for the wonderful surgeons at Minnesota’s world famous Mayo Clinic. 

The technology has so far allowed Mr Zderad to recognize items on a dinner table, such as his knife, fork and plate. He went on to explain: “I can make out an outline of, for example, a head and shoulder, not facial features, but I can see that someone is there or they are moving,” 

How does it work?

The technology works a little like radar. A small electronic chip called a Second Sight Implant, was inserted into his right eye. The implant receives light-wave signals from a tiny camera, which is fitted to the bridge of a pair of customized sunglasses. 

It’s inspirational to see the technological advances being made in recent years, for those with blindness or serious vision challenges. It seems increasing likely that the combined work of amazing doctors and the technology industry, will one day, be able to resolve even the most serious sight issues.

And finally folks

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Photo Credit: YouTube / Mayo Clinic