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Updated Jan 24, 2017 - 2:43 pm

Reading glasses could be a thing of the past

This article is Sponsored by Schwartz Laser Eye Center

There’s something magical about immersing yourself in a piece of carefully crafted literature. A great story can take you on a vacation of the mind and is often overlooked as one of the cheapest forms of entertainment.

Unfortunately, for many readers, this joy has been tainted by vision loss caused by aging eyes, also known as presbyopia. And while reading glasses or bifocals can remedy this problem, they have drawbacks, like getting lost or broken. And to be honest, reading without the glare and distraction of glasses can transform your experience.

If you’re one who has experienced vision loss due to aging and would like to enjoy reading without the worry of constantly wearing reading glasses, you’ll be excited to know that due to recent technology, reading glasses may be a thing of the past.

How so?

In June of 2016, the Food and Drug Administration approved a groundbreaking procedure known as the Raindrop inlay, just one year after approving a similar procedure called, the Kamra inlay.

Like the Kamra, the Raindrop is an outpatient procedure, but this time the inlay is made out of about 80 percent water and is the first device to actually change the shape of the cornea to correct vision.

The Raindrop inlay is inserted in the patient’s non-dominant eye through a flap that is created by a laser by a licensed eye surgeon, who then puts the flap back in place.

According to a press release by the FDA, “The inlay provides a steeper surface that can help the eye focus on near objects or print. The natural lens of the eye typically performs this function by changing shape, but in patients with presbyopia the lens becomes hardened and ineffective at focusing on close-up objects, which causes poor near vision. By reshaping the curvature of the cornea, the inlay corrects the refractive error that results in near vision problems.”

Does it work?

Since the Raindrop has been used on patients, 98 percent could read a newspaper or equivalent (20/40 or better at near distance), 88 percent could read fine print or equivalent (20/25 at near distance), and 76 percent of people could read an email on screen or equivalent (20/25 or better at an intermediate distance).

Finally, in a two-year clinical trial completed by the FDA, it was found that near vision of 20/40 or better was achieved in 336 of 364 patients (92 percent) two years after implantation

Who qualifies?

While many individuals with presbyopia or blurry near vision will experience positive results, there are some who may not qualify for the procedure yet.

The Raindrop inlay may not be for you if you are one who suffers from dry eyes; have an active eye infection or inflammation; exhibit signs of corneal disease; have abnormal features of the outer part of the eye (cornea); have certain autoimmune or connective tissue diseases; do not have enough corneal thickness to withstand the procedure; have a recent herpes eye infection or problems resulting from a previous infection or have uncontrolled glaucoma or uncontrolled diabetes.

However, what is great about this procedure, is that the inlays can be easily removed.

How can you get it?

Because of it’s highly advanced technology, the Raindrop inlay procedure is not widely available. In the Phoenix area, Dr. Jay Schwartz at  Schwartz Laser Eye Center is the first to offer this procedure along with many other highly effective alternatives. So, before you know it, reading glasses may only be used as a fashion statement and not as a necessity.

 

Dr.-SchwartzAbout Dr. Schwartz

As a leading eye care professional in the Scottsdale and Glendale areas, Dr. Schwartz is arguably the most prolific refractive surgeon in the valley. Having performed over 38,000 LASIK surgeries and being the first ophthalmologist in Arizona certified to perform the Kamra Inlay and Raindrop procedure, it is not hard to see why professional athletes and Arizona residents have trusted the Schwartz Laser Eye Center since 2001.