Corneal prothesis surgery is a technique for restoring vision in individuals that are blind or vision impaired from severe corneal disease. However, almost all eyes that have a corneal prosthesis will develop elevated intra-ocular pressure and glaucoma. This is a challenging scenario as the prosthesis prevents accurate measurement of intra-ocular pressure and glaucoma medications are less effective in these eyes.
A solution may be around the corner however. A German biotech start-up company, Implandata Ophthalmic Products GmbH, are developing a sensor that may be positioned within the eye at the same time as the corneal prosthesis surgery. It continuously monitors intra-ocular pressure which is then displayed on a remote device such as a mobile phone or tablet. The first of these devices has recently been implanted in a patient undergoing corneal prosthesis surgery in Germany.
As the device is not CE marked and initial clinical trials are yet to be performed, it is not available for use at this stage. However, if it proves both safe and effective, the potential to improve outcomes from corneal prosthesis surgery is enormous. That is because progressive glaucoma is a reason why corneal prosthesis patients lose vision after successful initial surgery. If this can be prevented, then vision will remain better for longer.