Artificial Cornea Allows Blind Man to See Again

A blind man from the U.K. is able to see for the first time in 10 years thanks to a new artificial cornea.

Norman Simpson badly damaged the front of his one good eye in an accident.

Corneal transplants from donor eyes failed and doctors said there was nothing more they could do.

But the artificial cornea – the window at the front of the eye – has improved his vision so much he can read newspapers and see his wife again.

"The first person I saw was Carmel,” Simpson said. “She came up to me and I could see her smiling face. That was lovely.”

The new device, called a keratoprosthesis, consists of a plastic lens which slips through a stabilizing ring.

Sandwiched between the two is a donut of donated eye tissue, which is stitched to the patient's eyeball to hold the device in place.

The operation takes two hours and can be done under local anesthetic.

Sheraz Daya, medical director at the Center for Sight in Sussex, England said the technique could help around 5,000 patients who suffer from corneal blindness.

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