New York – A 63-year-old man has vision in his right eye for the first time in more than 55 years. When he was 8 years old, he suffered a detached retina after his right eye was hit with a stone. He had experienced blindness in his right eye ever since.
Recently, the man went into the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary complaining of pain and redness in his eye. Doctors found swelling, bleeding, and a high fluid pressure in his right eye. After cleaning the eye and prescribing a drug to prevent the formation of new blood vessels, the eye was able to detect the source of a bright light for the first time since the man was a child.
As a result, doctors believed it was worth trying to re-attach his retina. However, they acknowledged that there was no guarantee the procedure would restore his vision. When a retina is detached for such a long period of time, it can result in permanent damage.
However, the surgery was successful, and the man is once again able to see out of his right eye. Doctors believe the surgery was successful because of the low “height” of the man’s detached retina. According to doctors involved in the procedure, this is the first time a man has had his sight restored after such a prolonged period of blindness.
According to Dr. Olusola Olawoye, “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 other patients, especially in the context of stem cell research into retinal progenitor cells which may be able to be transplanted into diseased retinas to restore vision.”