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Bionic Vision

Bionic Vision


Credit: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eye_disease_simulation,_age-related_macular_degeneration.jpg
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

Why is this picture so blurry? And why is there a large dark area in the middle? The picture is meant to simulate the vision of a person with an eye disease called macular degeneration.

Why It Matters

  • Macular degeneration is the most common cause of blindness in older Americans. It affects vision in the central part of the eye but not around the edges. It gradually worsens over time.
  • Credit: National Eye Institute of the NIH
    Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Intermediate_age_related_macular_degeneration.jpg
    License: CC BY-NC 3.0

    This scan shows evidence of age-related mascular degeneration [Figure2]


  • Recently, scientists developed a special telescopic contact lens that improves the vision of people with macular degeneration. Learn about this life-changing technology by watching this short video:


Can You Apply It?

At the link below, read more about macular degeneration and the telescopic contact lens. Then answer the questions that follow.

  1. How does the telescopic contact lens improve the vision of people with macular degeneration?
  2. The zoom function of the contact lens is always activated. How can it be switched off to change to normal (nonmagnified) vision?
  3. What are the advantages of the telescopic contact lens over other potential treatments for macular degeneration?
  4. What might be some other potential uses for specialized contact lenses such as those for macular degeneration?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Eye_disease_simulation,_age-related_macular_degeneration.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: National Eye Institute of the NIH; Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Intermediate_age_related_macular_degeneration.jpg; License: CC BY-NC 3.0


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