A partially sighted British pensioner has had his central vision partially restored for the first time in nearly a decade after he received a "bionic eye".

The 80-year-old man is the world's first patient with advanced dry age related macular degeneration or AMD to undergo the procedure.

AMD is the most common cause of sight loss in the developed world with between 20 and 25 million sufferers worldwide.

Manchester man Ray Flynn's central vision has been deteriorating for the past eight years as a result of untreatable AMD, leaving him with just peripheral vision and affecting his quality of life.

Last month he received a retinal implant during a four-hour operation.

It converts video images captured by a miniature camera in his glasses into a series of electrical impulses transmitted wirelessly to electrodes on the surface of the retina.

The pulses stimulate the retina's remaining cells resulting in the corresponding perception of patterns of light in the brain, which the patient learns to interpret in order to regain some visual function.

Since his system was turned on three weeks ago, Mr Flynn can now make out the outline of people and objects, even with his eyes closed.

130 patients worldwide with the rare disease retinitis pigmentosa have already successfully used the bionic implant.

However, this is the first time a patient with peripheral vision has received one, making it the first known case of a human having combined natural and artificial sight.