British pensioner's vision restored through 'bionic eye'

80-year-old has central vision for the first time in nearly a decade

British Man Receives First 'Bionic Eye' To Restore Vision
Retired pensioner Ray Flynn from Manchester has had his central vision restored for the first time in nearly a decade after he received a bionic eye.

The 80-year-old has become the world's first recipient of the Argus II implant, known as a 'bionic eye' which has restored some of the central vision he has been losing due to dry age related macular degeneration (AMD).

The retired engineer, who has peripheral vision, is also believed to be the first human being to have the use of combined natural and artificial sight, The Guardian reports.

AMD is the most common cause of sight loss in the developed world, with between 20 million and 25 million sufferers worldwide.

Now able to watch his beloved Manchester United

Flynn, who has experienced deteriorating central vision for the last eight years, said the ailment had affected his quality of life.

But thanks to a successful operation, the avid football fan is now looking forward to a clearer view of his beloved Manchester United on television.

Developed by Second Sight Medical Products, the Argus II retinal implant that Flynn received last month at Manchester Royal Eye hospital, in a four-hour procedure, works by converting video images captured by a miniature camera housed in the patient's glasses.

These images are converted into a series of small electrical pulses, which are transmitted wirelessly to electrodes on the surface of the retina.

These pulses stimulate the retina's remaining cells, resulting in the corresponding perception of patterns of light in the brain. The patient then learns to interpret these visual patterns to regain some visual function.

He said: "Before when I was looking at a plant in the garden it was like a honeycomb in the centre of my eye. That has now disappeared. I can now walk round the garden and see things."