LASIK has offered a safe and reliable method for correcting near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism. But what about those individuals over 45 years old that need help reading when they've been corrected for distance? Until now, there were three choices for patients who wanted corrective surgery over 45 years old. One was mono-vision LASIK, where one eye was corrected for distance vision and the other eye was corrected for near. This allowed for focusing up close and far away but it sacrificed binocularity (the two eyes working together) which often lead to compromised night vision and depth perception. The second option was reading glasses. This was hardly ideal considering the financial investment in a LASIK procedure that was supposed to eliminate the need for glasses. The final option was clear lens exchange (CLE) with a multifocal implant. This was essentially cataract surgery before a cataract was present. The implant could be equipped with multifocal optics to allow a range of vision and worked reasonably well, but it is expensive and invasive.
We now have a new alternative for people wanting a minimally invasive vision correction
surgery that allows for great distance and near vision without sacrificing binocularity. Corneal inlays have gained recent FDA approval and offer a safe and effective solution with a quick recovery time. Many patients who have surgery can return to work within two days.
There are two types of corneal inlays available currently, the Raindrop inlay and the Karma
inlay. These can be placed in just one eye and offer clear and comfortable intermediate
(computer) and near vision, while allowing both eyes to continue to work together to optimize distance vision. The inlays can be placed under a LASIK flap if distance vision correction is required. If the patients distance vision is already optimal, the inlay can simply be placed in a grove in the front of the cornea. in addition, the inlay can be removed at any point.
Corneal inlays have given patients over 45 years old a new and effective option in vision
correction that LASIK had been previously unable to offer. If you have any questions about
these new procedures or would like to see if you're a candidate, contact our office today and set up an evaluation.
Andrew Biondo, O.D., is the Primary Medical Director at Kirkwood Eye Associates in Kirkwood, MO. Serving the greater St. Louis area, Dr. Biondo has 8 years of experience as an eye care provider, health educator & consultant to the specialty contact lens industry. His special interests include contact lenses, dry eye disease, glaucoma, macular degeneration, laser eye surgery & preventive vision care.