The eye’s natural lens is normally elastic and flexible. It works like a camera lens to automatically adjust and focus our vision. This lets us switch our gaze from something near to something far away – for example, a driver looking from the traffic ahead, down to the speedometer in front of him, and back again. From the time we are born, the natural lens within the eye gradually begins to thicken and lose its flexibility. This occurs throughout our lives, but most of us do not notice the process until after age 40 when it begins to manifest itself as a loss of the ability to focus on near objects. This loss of near vision, known as presbyopia, is a frustrating but completely natural condition that eventually forces most people to use reading glasses in order to see print, computer monitors, and phone screens clearly.
In the beginning stages, many people compensate by holding the pages or screen farther away, but eventually even that is no longer enough, and reading glasses become necessary. Eyeglasses (bifocals, progressive lenses, or readers) are the most common correction for presbyopia. Monovision using contact lenses is another option used to correct this condition. With this method, the dominant eye is fixed for distance vision and the non-dominant eye is adjusted for reading.
Advances in refractive surgery have led to new and investigational surgical options to treat presbyopia. In April of 2015, the KAMRA™ corneal inlay, a device designed to improve near vision in people with presbyopia, was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration. This signified the first major advance in decades in the treatment of presbyopia, one which may revolutionize the way “after-40 vision” is treated. Hoopes Vision was involved in the FDA clinical trials for this device for five years, and was the largest single test site in number of patients treated. Because of this, we were chosen by AcuFocusTM, the developer of the KAMRA inlay, to be the launch site for KAMRA, and the first commercial procedures in the United States were performed at Hoopes Vision on May 19, 2015. The RAINDROP® NEAR VISION INLAY is the second FDA-approved implantable corneal device for correction of near vision in patients who have not had cataract surgery and the first device to change the shape of the cornea to correct vision. Hoopes Vision will be among one of the first centers in the country to offer this new treatment to presbyopic patients.
WHAT IS THE KAMRA CORNEAL INLAY?
The KAMRA corneal inlay is a small ring-shaped device with a hole, or aperture, in the center. At 3.8 millimeters in diameter, it is smaller than a contact lens and far thinner and lighter; the KAMRA inlay weighs about the same as a single grain of salt. It is perforated with 8,400 tiny laser-etched holes to facilitate the passage of water and nutrients between the layers of the cornea.
HOW DOES KAMRA WORK?
In the KAMRA procedure, a femtosecond laser, like the ones used to create flaps in a blade-free LASIK procedure, creates a small “pocket” within the corneal tissue of the patient’s non-dominant eye. The surgeon then places the inlay into that pocket, centering it over the patient’s pupil and line of sight. The inlay resides within the patient’s corneal tissue. Once in place, the inlay creates a “pinhole effect,” admitting clearly focused light through the aperture while blocking unfocused light around the periphery. The result, in patients who are good candidates for KAMRA, is improved near vision that can reduce or eliminate the need for contact lenses, without the compromises in distance vision and depth perception that can sometimes be side effects of monovision.
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM KAMRA?
Ideal candidates for KAMRA are between the ages of 40 and 65, with a desire to reduce or eliminate their dependence on reading glasses. Hoopes Vision offers a complimentary screening and consultation. At this free, no-obligation appointment, we will perform all the necessary testing to determine whether the patient is a good candidate for KAMRA or would be better served by having a different procedure, and the risks, benefits, and alternatives of each option will be explained in detail.
To learn more about your vision correction options, please call our office at 801.568.0200 to schedule a VIP consultation.