Breakthrough for the blind as new lens improves sight

The findings of a UK study of 244 patients to be revealed at a conference in Lisbon this weekend showed that 90 per cent with Age-Related Macular Degeneration given the lens had significant improvements in their vision.

The study, published in the European Journal of Ophthalmology, has been mirrored by preliminary data from other European research which is also being presented at the conference.

Eye surgeon Mr Scott Robbie, from London’s Guy’s and St Thomas’ hospitals, said: “This could help millions of people with intermediate to advanced AMD. I am cautious about over promising and under-delivering but this is very exciting.

"It has taken a long time to develop and deserves to be brought to patients throughout the UK.” 

Last week experts submitted data to the Government medical watchdog the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence so that it could be considered for approval on the NHS.

London eye surgeon Mr Bobby Qureshi, who helped develop the lens which aims to project light on to non-diseased parts of the retina, said: “This is the safest and most effective treatment for something we’ve not been able to fix before.”

Age-Related Macular Degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in the West, with up to five million Britons affected.