After 15 years of study, an internationally renowned ophthalmologist Ian McAllister claimed to have found the first cure for the world debilitating condition central Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO) through laser treatment.
Professor McAllister and his team from the Lions Institute in Perth in developing the treatment, explains that they create a bypass through laser treatment around blockages in the retinal vein that causes progressive blindness.
RVO is the fifth most common cause of blindness in Australia and it mostly affects the elderly.
Professor McAllister -- who was a state finalist in this year's Australian of the Year awards -- said an 18-month human trial of his procedure, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council, recorded a 76 per cent success rate.
Perth grandmother Lorraine Hillier who was diagnosed as legally blind was one of the first to benefit. After the treatment, she's now driving a car and never has to wear her glasses anymore. She says that it's a miracle and she expresses that she can't thank Professor McAllister enough.
Professor McAllister said other treatments were focused on managing the end-stage complications of the vein obstruction rather than tackling the obstruction itself so that vision could be restored. Some patients even endured painful injections into their eyes each month to help manage the condition. This treatment represents a cure for many patients afflicted by this otherwise blinding eye condition, he said.