Iowan to undergo surgery for bionic eye

Published: Aug. 1, 2017 at 5:57 AM CDT
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On August 17, a 63-year-old Boone man will see for the first time in decades thanks to his newly-implanted bionic eye.

Steve Myers was diagnosed with a rare eye disease called retinitis pigmentosa at the age of 16 and has since lost most of his vision.

"I can see light, but as far as faces, if somebody waves their hand in front of my face I cannot detect that,” Myers said.

Doctors approved Myers for a device called an Argyss 2 Retinal Prosthesis system by Second Sight Corp. on March 13. The Argyss 2 Retinal Prosthesis is the world's first approved device to restore some vision for the blind.

"I am the first one in Iowa that the device will be activated on August 17,” Myers said.

Myers underwent extensive retinal testing in May and had a bionic eye implanted on July 18.

“The implant consists of 60 electrodes,” Myers said. “It's got a short cabling on it; then it has the receiver, which is about like two nickels stacked together and impregnated (with) a silicone rubber and implanted into the white of the eye."

After a full month of recovery, Myers will head back to Mayo Clinic, where he will then put on special glasses and see for the first time in decades.

"I will see outlines of people,” Myers said. “I will see outlines of doorways. It should provide a lot of mobility (and) accessibility."

"I really have a feeling that it's going to work,” Myers said.

Myers said one of the first things he wants to see is the ocean, and he is excited to take a walk around his Boone neighborhood and return home safely.

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