'Bionic Eye' Allows Some Blind People to See Light

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'Bionic Eye' Allows Some Blind People to See Light

'Bionic Eye' Allows Some Blind People to See Light

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Dr. Linda Olmos De Koo examines Lisa Kulik's prosthetic retina at the USC Eye Institute. The device helps Kulik differentiate between light and shadows so that she can better interpret the world around her. Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC)
Dr. Linda Olmos De Koo examines Lisa Kulik's prosthetic retina at the USC Eye Institute. The device helps Kulik differentiate between light and shadows so she can better interpret the world around her. (Benjamin Brayfield/KPCC)

An eye implant developed by the University of Southern California -- the first FDA-approved implant of its kind -- is helping people with a rare type of vision loss regain some sight. And it's paving the way for more types of "bionic eyes" to treat other forms of blindness in the future.

Dubbed the Argus II, the implant was designed to treat retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic disorder that slowly robs a person of sight by destroying photoreceptors in the eye.

Lisa Kulik, 55, is the first person west of the Mississippi to receive the commercial version of this device.

Go to KPCC's website to read the full story and see how the device works.

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