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3 Presbyopia treatment options

Posted by K. Fry on March 3, 2014
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The need for reading glasses or bifocal lenses is common in people over the age of 40. That’s because, as the eye naturally ages, it loses some of the elasticity, or flexibility, that allows it to focus on close up objects and to switch with clarity from viewing objects in the distance to viewing nearby objects.

This condition, called Presbyopia, can be treated with laser eye surgery.

Here's 3 Presbyopia treatment options:

1. Monovision

Using LASIK or PRK laser eye surgery, one eye is corrected for distance vision. The other is under-corrected, leaving it slightly near-sighted, allowing for improved focus on near objects. Monovision can improve presbyopia and reduce the need for reading glasses.

One of the challenges for people who undergo monovision is to become accustomed to relying on one eye for distance vision and the other for near vision.

Monovision can also result in reductions in depth perception, distance vision clarity and quality of night vision. While reading glasses would still be required for activities such as reading for an extended time, monovision can help with scans of smaller print on things like price tags, restaurant menus or documents.

2. Laser Blended Vision Correction

With a special excimer laser, using a LASIK procedure, surgeons correct a dominant eye for distance vision, while near vision is improved in a non-dominant eye. The depth of field in both eyes is also increased. The brain is able to blend the two images together creating improved vision at near, intermediate and far distances without the need for glasses. The image appears to be in focus for both eyes, and, although there will be a variation in vision between both eyes, patients are less likely to notice it with laser blended vision correction.

This is different from monovision surgery, in which patients must adjust to relying on one eye to see near and the other to see distance. Laser blended vision correction also appears to have a higher acceptance rate among patients, compared to monovision, with a shorter adaptation time.

3. Corneal Inlay

Commonly called the KAMRATM Inlay, this process involves inserting a microscopic ring into only one eye. The black ring, which is much smaller than a contact lens, has a diameter of 3.8 mm with a tiny opening in the middle. If LASIK is done, the inlay is inserted into a LASIK flap, or it can also be inserted into a laser-created pocket if LASIK is not done. The outer ring part of the inlay prevents unfocused light from reaching the retina, while the tiny opening in the ring allows only focused light through. This procedure can improve presbyopia by bringing near objects into focus. The inlay is etched with thousands of microscopic openings to help the cornea stay healthy. The procedure is reversible and takes about 20 minutes.

There are no stitches required and eye drops are given to help with the healing process. Recovery time varies from a few days up to months, depending on individual healing times. Most patients are able to return to work and resume normal activities within 24 hours.

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