Giving Blind Woman Sight Again With Bionic Eye

A woman who completely lost her sight 16 years ago says she can now see after being fitted with a bionic eye.

Carmen Torres, 58, began losing her sight at the age of 18 due to retinitis pigmentosa, a particularly cruel disease. Her vision gradually started to fade, and after years of degeneration, by the time she reached 45 she was completely blind. With her sight switched off, Torres couldn’t see herself in the mirror anymore.

“I adapt well to my incapacity because you don’t have another choice. You have to move forward with your life,” Torres said.

But after years of darkness, there was finally a possible solution: a bionic eye.

The bionic eye has changed her life

“You have to know what light is there. It is very hard to identify the kind of light for every object that you see,” Torres told reporters at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami on Friday describing her experience. “It’s like learning a new language.”

The implant of the bionic eye can be life-changing. Torres can now watch her grandson roll a ball across the carpet in her living room, she can finally see the light, locate doors, sidewalks and watch the stars outside her home at night.

Only 100 patients worldwide have received the implant

Torres is only one of about 100 patients worldwide who have received the implant so far, according to the hospital.

“It’s a meticulous technique,” Dr. Nina Gregori explained, one that requires “exact, precise measurements of where to place these components on the eye and we really took our time.”

How does the technology work?

The process began in November of last year, when Torres underwent a procedure to install the Argus II Retinal Prosthesis System, in the first surgery of its kind in Florida.

This system delivers electrical stimulation to the retina in order to restore visual perception and it’s designed to bring a semblance of sight back to patients like Torres. The system received approval from the Food and Drug Administration.

Now, nine months after the surgery, Torres is currently learning how to understand the visuals, discern objects, by identifying the contrast of light and dark.

What do you think of the bionic eye? Share your opinion on the comments section below.


Now you can enjoy a view of the great outdoors, without ever leaving your home