How did the disease manifest in your case?

I had the first symptoms at about 14 years of age. Nobody could understand them correctly. During physical education in school I always had problems catching a ball. At the time, I could not really explain what was happening, and at that age I just thought I was not capable of playing soccer. No one thought that a serious eye disease was the cause.
It became really noticeable when I got my driver's license. I had problems driving at night on wet asphalt. The reflections obscured the road markings and oncoming cars. Soon afterwards I started being blinded by the glare of daylight. My eyes started to tear in the sun. It was so uncomfortable that I had to look away.
On TV I saw a programme on eye diseases. The documentary explained how retinitis pigmentosa limits the field of vision. I was really scared and immediately hoped that I was not affected. I was diagnosed in my early twenties. At first I felt very dejected because there was no perspective. I had to give up a lot: my job as an electrician, sports activities, my painting.



Why did you choose the RETINA IMPLANT Alpha AMS?

Friends heard an advertisement on retinal implant on the radio. We then searched the internet and found the RETINA IMPLANT Alpha AMS.
It appealed to me that it is only implanted in one eye and that I could remove it when not using it. It did not require external components. This made a much more convenient impression. We informed ourselves nationwide, which clinics perform the intervention.



How was the implantation for you and how did you experience the time just after?

I found the intervention to be exhausting. The first two days after I felt helpless with the bandage around my head. And then it happened! When the bandage was removed, I suddenly perceived light on the non-implanted eye. Before that, it had been practically functionless. I recognized two ceiling lights like two spots. Both eyes have steadily improved. I think it's great.


How did the implant affect your life?

I now live much more stress-free. I tried for years and spent a lot of money to delay the disease. I have been constantly looking for a therapy. The implant was the last thing I wanted to try. I did not want to stand there one day and say I had a chance and missed it. It was like a finish line.
Mentally the implantation is a relief for me. I can enjoy things again. Before, I always looked at things that I can no longer do. Now I focus on the things I can do. Those are by far more.
Of course, I was hoping for more from the implant. Everyone does that. But I'm learning to cope with the implant. It is there and supports me. That's a lot already. And when you see what I can do with it, then that is not a small thing.


In how far would you recommend the Retina Implant?

The decision has to mature in everyone personally. The opinions of friends are usually of little help. Sometimes it even suggests you could get rid of the disease. That cannot be done.
I regard the implant as a chance to improve my vision compared to seeing nothing at all. It's like opening a small window through which a sunbeam falls. But for that you have to focus on the implant and the training. In a literal sense, the implant has nothing to do with seeing. It’s rather an interpretation of new signals that can only be perceived through the implant.