Diagnosed with an advanced form of dry macular degeneration, Dan Dunbar, 81, was forced to change his lifestyle to accommodate his diminishing eyesight. “I quit driving and reading because it was too hard,” he says.
The Costa Mesa resident suffered from geographic atrophy, a form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) that affects the deepest retinal cells. This malady impacts a person’s central vision, the visual field that is seen when looking straight ahead. As a result, recognizing faces, reading, self-care, TV viewing and other everyday activities can be difficult or impossible.
When Dunbar heard of a new surgical option involving a tiny telescope developed to help people with AMD, he was elated. The telescope, smaller than a pea, uses micro-technology to magnify images normally seen within a person’s central visual field. One of the first patients to try the procedure, Dunbar underwent the life-changing surgery at Good Samaritan Hospital in Los Angeles in November of 2011.
“I can now see faces clearly at more than 20 feet,” Dunbar says. He’s also resumed skiing, a sport he had been unable to do because of his failing eyesight.
Dunbar’s post-surgical vision went from legally blind to 20/50. “Besides skiing, I am really enjoying the little things,” he says, “like being able to find my wife at Home Depot, walking across the street on my own and working on the computer. Each day, it gets better.”
Now available in Orange County, the CentraSight treatment is the only medical/surgical option that improves visual acuity by helping restore the central vision blind spot caused by end-stage AMD. The CentraSight Treatment Program includes the services of Drs. Baruch Kupperman and Stephanie Lu, retina specialists at the Gavin Herbert Eye Institute who coordinate the treatment; Drs. Sumit “Sam” Garg and Marjan Farid, the eye doctors who perform the surgery at the UC Irvine Medical Center; and professionals from the Mary Ann Keverline Walls Low Vision Center (at the Southern California College of Optometry), who coordinate pre- and post-surgical therapy. centrasight.com healthcare.uci.edu
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