A Canadian optometrist and inventor has said he was on the brink of producing and marketing a bionic lens that could eliminate the need for laser eye surgery, contact lenses or eyeglasses within five years.

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Dr. Garth Webb, an optometrist at the Ocumetics Technology Corp. in Abbotsford, a city about 100 km east of Vancouver, has created the Ocumetics Bionic Lens. The device could boost a person’s sight to three times better than the standard 20/20 vision “even at age of 100”.

“It was initially designed to assist people with cataracts, who needed to have their lenses replaced. But we’ve refined the design and function of the lens so well that it appears to be a very desirable product for anyone who is dependent upon eyeglasses,” Webb said in a recent interview with Xinhua.

He said the surgery, which would take about eight minutes and correct sights immediately, would be painless and is similar to cataract surgery. It will only be available to people over 25, since eye structures aren’t fully formed until that age.

Webb also noted that the bionic lens would last for life and never decay like our natural lenses and would never require surgical upgrades.

Webb and his team have spent the last eight years and about three million Canadian dollars (2.3 million U.S. dollars) researching and developing the bionic lens. He has been arranging international patents and setting up a manufacturing facility near Vancouver.

Webb said they are now ready to start the formalized clinical trials. “So we’re right at the precipice of being able to put these into human eyes.”

Once approved and in production, the bionic lens surgery would cost roughly the same as laser eye surgery of today.

The lens could be available in Canada, U.S., Asia and Europe within a few years, some within five years, Webb said.

“We believe that China and Asian countries are going to have first access to the product. They appear to be willing to shorten their approval process because of the huge demand in those countries,” Webb said. Enditem

Source: Xinhua

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