Understanding Near Vision Loss
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.
Understanding Near Vision Loss
What Causes Presbyopia?
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. Over time, the lens begins to stiffen, making it harder, then completely impossible, to focus up close. 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.
Presbyopia continues to progress over time. For example, someone who is 45 may only notice it when trying to read tiny print in low light. However, someone who is 50 may need to use reading glasses many times throughout the day.
How the KAMRA® Inlay Helps
The KAMRA inlay treatment is an eye procedure that improves near vision and can free patients from the constant frustrations of reading glasses. The KAMRA inlay sits in the clear tissue at the front of the eye known as the cornea. Smaller and thinner than a contact lens, the KAMRA inlay is a mini-ring with an opening, or pinhole, in the center. The inlay uses this pinhole to focus light coming into the eye. This improves near vision while maintaining distance vision.
BEFORE: When the natural focusing ability of the eye diminishes, near vision becomes blurry.
AFTER: With the KAMRA inlay, unfocused light is blocked, making near vision clear.
How the KAMRA Inlay Works
The KAMRA inlay sits in the first few layers of the eye known as the cornea. Smaller and thinner than a contact lens, the inlay is a mini-ring with an opening, or pinhole, in the center. This pinhole allows only focused light to enter your eye. The KAMRA inlay is placed in only one of your eyes, allowing you to see up close while maintaining your distance vision in both eyes. Your non-KAMRA eye is left untouched. Working together, the eyes allow you to see near to far. This is unlike monovision laser vision correction, which corrects one eye for near and one eye for distance and does not last over time.
What to Expect
From start to finish, the KAMRA® inlay procedure will typically take less than 20 minutes. Numbing drops are used to ensure the patient is comfortable throughout the procedure. Patients may feel slight pressure while the doctor uses a laser to create a small pocket in the cornea. This step only lasts a few seconds. The inlay is then placed within the opening. Once the numbing drops wear off, the eye may feel irritated or scratchy and patients may also experience excessive tearing or light sensitivity. This is normal, and the doctor will provide medications to help manage these symptoms.
As with any eye surgery, healing is a process. Adhering to the doctor’s postoperative instructions will accelerate that healing progress. It is important to remember that the amount and pace of near vision improvement varies by individual. While some patients see an improvement within the first week to a month, others may require additional time to heal. Most patients resume normal activities and return to work within 24 to 48 hours.
To enhance recovery and near vision improvement, patients should:
- Avoid using reading glasses.
- Take all postoperative medications as prescribed by the doctor, including artificial tears.
- Keep all follow-up appointments.
It is typical to experience some fluctuations in vision in the first three to six months after surgery. This is often a sign of the brain adapting to the new vision and will likely stabilize. The keys to success are to be patient with the recovery process and diligent in following the doctor’s instructions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions to help you understand how this life-changing surgery can help improve your vision correction needs.
KAMRA is a corneal inlay – a tiny, ring-shaped device that is placed in the cornea, the clear tissue at the front of the eye. The inlay is designed to help with presbyopia, the gradual loss of near vision that most people begin to notice in their 40s and is commonly called “after 40 vision.” KAMRA improves that up-close vision and can reduce or eliminate the need for reading glasses.
The KAMRA inlay is a ring with a hole in the middle. It creates a sort of “pinhole” effect where clearly focused light is allowed to pass through that central hole, while blurry light around the edges is excluded.
The KAMRA inlay is placed in one eye only, the patient’s non-dominant eye. This leaves the dominant eye untouched, meaning that for most patients there is no noticeable change in distance vision. The inlay is placed into a pocket created by a femtosecond laser, the same lasers we use to create corneal flaps for LASIK. The surgeon then places the KAMRA inlay into that pocket, centering it over the pupil.
Our clinical research center was deeply involved in the FDA trials for this device for five years. We were the largest test site for KAMRA in terms of procedures performed, and our test patients’ outcomes were some of the very best. Because of our experience and results during those trials, we were chosen to be the first commercial implanters of this device. We feel honored and fortunate to be the first to be able to offer this exciting new technology to our patients.
Ideal candidates for KAMRA are between the ages of 40 and 60 who have noticed the progression of presbyopia but whose eyes are otherwise healthy. We are offering a complimentary screening exam and consultation for KAMRA, and anyone interested should call us or contact us through our website.
KAMRA Patient Experiences
See what others are saying about their KAMRA inlay experience. Maybe it’s time to free yourself from the constant frustrations of reading glasses.
Videos from KAMRA® Inlay
Hoopes Vision is best known for LASIK and laser cataract surgery. However, in our ongoing commitment to provide the most advanced surgical vision correction available, our corneal and refractive surgery specialists are also highly skilled in a variety of other procedures.
The fellowship-trained, board-certified cornea specialists at Hoopes Vision offer a comprehensive array of the most advanced cornea transplant procedures available today, including the newer partial-thickness and laser-assisted transplants.
For patients who may not be ideal candidates for ICL due to the onset of presbyopia, also known as “after-40 vision,” the KAMRA corneal inlay is a promising new option. The goal of KAMRA is to eliminate or reduce dependence on reading glasses while leaving distance vision unchanged.Over time, the lens begins to stiffen, making it harder, then completely impossible.
Keratoconus is a degenerative eye condition that causes the shape of the cornea to change from a round dome to an irregular cone shape as the central cornea becomes progressively thinner and weaker. Keratoconus affects about 1 in 2000 people.
Patients who come to Hoopes Vision because of our track record of safety and proven results are often surprised at how affordable the very best vision correction procedures can be. We work hard to put our technology and expertise within the reach of almost any budget.