Man 'regains sight in eye after 55 years'

Man 'regains sight in eye after 55 years'

A team at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, which carried out the surgery to re-attach the man's retina, says it is the first time that a patient with a long-term detached retina has seen such an improvement after operation.

The 63-year-old unnamed patient was left completely blind in his right eye after an accident in th 1950s when he was just eight years old. Last year, he entered the Infirmary complaining of persistent pain and redness in the eye.

Doctors found he had glaucoma and high eye pressure. After treating the eye pressure and, using a technique called monoclonal antibody therapy, treating the glaucoma, he told them that he could perceive light again.

Encouraged, the doctors performed an operation to re-attach the retina. Subsequently, the man had recovered his sight to such an extent that he could count fingers more than 15 feet, 'The Daily Telegraph' reported.

When a retina has been detached for so long, degenerative changes usually occur that make restoring sight impossible.

Dr Olusola Olawoye of the infirmary said: "To the best of our knowledge this is the first report of visual recovery in a patient with long-standing traumatic retinal detachment. This is not only a great result for our patient but has implications for restoring eyesight in others patients."

In the future retinal reattachments after long periods could be aided with use of stem cells to regenerate diseased retinas, he added.The incident is published in the 'Journal of Medical Case Reports'.

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