The ocularist from Molins is also treating two of the young people who lost an eye during the Catalan post-sentence protests in Barcelona.
Molins de Rei has long been a point of reference in matters of vision in Catalonia and in the world. Local ophthalmologist Miquel Salinas has been treating patients around the world who have lost their eyesight. The latest was a 16-year-old Venezuelan who lost both eyes to the police in a protest this summer in the South American country and traveled to the town to regain his sight.
Speaking to Viu Molins de Rei, Salinas explained that it is not an easy task, especially in patients like Venezuela’s Rufo. The case has been complex, he explains, because part of the eye sockets was damaged by the impact of the pellets and this made it difficult to place the prostheses. In addition, there was a risk that the eye cavities would close while the operation was not performed. “We had problems with the documents and passports, they didn’t make it easy for him,” explains the specialist, who celebrates that they arrived just in time for the intervention to be satisfactory.
And it has been. Rufus can finally see again in a way. In addition to placing eye prostheses that have allowed him to recover his eyes aesthetically, they have also installed glasses with artificial intelligence that allow him to recognize the objects in front of him, at the Molins center. “They have a kind of built-in sensor that tells Rufo what he sees, both in terms of objects and people. This allows him to regain the feeling of vision “, explains Salinas.
In addition, the prostheses are made of a material – acrylic resin – that makes them “not look artificial and give them a definite aspect”. For Salinas, it is essential that it is not noticed that they are prostheses and that “the concept of the glass eye is left behind”. He says it from personal experience. As a young man, he lost one of his eyes during a Festa Major due to a firecracker and had to have a prosthesis placed on him. But the ones on the market did not satisfy him and so he decided to specialize in this field and manufacture them himself.
“We are currently a unique reference center in Europe, as I am the only manufacturer to wear a prosthesis at the same time.” A condition that also leads to many patients putting themselves in his hands: “They feel more identified when they know that I also wear one”, reflects the specialist, who explains that he has been running the Ocular Lab project for five years. A short but intense career as it has operated so far on about a thousand people.
In fact, Salinas is also currently in charge of dealing with two of the young people who lost an eye in the post-sentence protests in Barcelona. “Recently, two young people came to us who received the impacts of foam projectiles and we are treating them from here.” A process that is also long as the prostheses are made to measure and follow mapping techniques that allow them to be much more accurate: “We have a scanner that makes a map of the eye sockets so we can make the prostheses in a personalized way”. All with the aim of recovering one of the most vital organs of human beings: “It is very gratifying to see the happy faces of patients when they feel that they have regained what they had lost,” concludes Salinas.