Eye Health

18 September 2009

Tooth used to restore vision

Doctors used 60-year-old Sharron Thornton's eye tooth to help restore the vision she lost in 2000 when her cornea was damaged by a reaction to a drug she was taking.

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One woman's eye tooth really lives up to its name.

Doctors in Florida used 60-year-old Sharron Thornton's eye tooth to help restore the vision she lost in 2000 when her cornea was damaged by a reaction to a drug she was taking, USA Today reported. Her eye surface was too dry for a corneal transplant, a standard treatment.

Instead, doctors at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine removed Thornton's eye tooth and part of her jaw and created a hole in the tooth in order to fit an optical cylinder lens.

The tooth acts as a base for the lens.

On the Labour Day weekend, doctors surgically implanted the tooth lens prosthesis into the eye. It was the first time the surgery was performed in the United States.

"Sharon was able to see 20/60 this morning. She was seeing only shadows a couple of weeks ago," ophthalmologist and surgeon Victor Perez said Wednesday when details of the surgery were announced. – (HealthDay News, September 2009)

Read more:
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Optometrist

Megan Goodman qualified as an optometrist from the University of Johannesburg and is currently practising at Tygerberg Academic Hospital in Cape Town. She has recently completed a Masters degree in Clinical Epidemiology at Stellenbosch University. She has a keen interest in ocular pathology and evidence based medicine as well as contact lenses.

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