Following revolutionary eye surgery at the London Eye Hospital to implant a state-of-the-art iolAMD lens in her eye, retired classroom assistant Irene Da Silva has realised her dream of seeing her granddaughter’s face once again.
At 81 years old, Mrs. Da Silva was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) 4 years ago, a progressive eye condition which gradually causes vision loss and affects over 4 million sufferers in the UK alone.
As Mrs. Da Silva’s eyesight deteriorated, she was soon only able to make out the outlines and shapes of people, losing her independence and the ability to look at pictures of her two children and granddaughter.
“I couldn’t see bus numbers, so couldn’t travel alone to even go shopping or meet friends for coffee. My husband had to read my post to me. It was a very difficult time, as I have always been independent,” says Irene. “The realisation slowly dawned on me – unless I did something, this was how my future would be.”
Until recently, surgery for AMD required extremely complex procedures with lots of complications and extensive risk associated with it. As such, most modern eye surgeons have been reluctant to perform the often inadequate treatments.
However, this changed when Bobby Qureshi, Chief Medical Officer and Founder of the London Eye Hospital joined forces with world-renowned optical physicist Professor Pablo Artal to develop the iolAMD telescope lens.
Rectifying previous problems associated with lens implants, the pliable iolAMD can be inserted into the eye with an incision of less than 3mm, in a 10 minute procedure that can be comfortably performed by any cataract-trained surgeon in the world.
“The lens has worked incredibly. I had the operation in May, and I now have clear, bright, sharp vision in my right eye,” continues Irene. “For the first time in a long time, I can see the photos of my granddaughter and I can’t wait to see her face for real when she visits!”
There has been no widely accepted treatment for sufferers of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), the leading cause of blindness in over 55s, until London Eye Hospital developed this revolutionary, world-first treatment. The lens is effective in the treatment of dry AMD, established wet forms of AMD, and other macular disease including maculopathy (fats leaking into the retina) caused by diabetes.
Mr. Qureshi, the ophthalmic surgeon who performed the treatment on Mrs. Da Silva said:
“We were delighted that Irene was suitable for the iolAMD implant, and just as delighted that it has helped her regain her independence. The implant is a giant step forward in optical innovation, and it is immeasurably satisfying to see the benefits in such a wide range of people.”