Presbyopia, or age-related loss of near vision, happens when your natural lens loses elasticity, making it difficult to change your focus to see objects up close. Everyone — yes, everyone — will eventually develop presbyopia. It affects most people in their 40s and early 50s. More than a billion people in the world have presbyopia according to the Archives of Ophthalmology. People affected often own multiple pairs of reading glasses and must rely on them for even the most mundane of daily tasks.
Symptoms include difficulty with near vision when reading menus, newsprint, price tags, a mobile phone, or doing hobbies and close-up work. Initially, people find themselves constantly repositioning reading material to find the correct focus, and may experience eye fatigue when reading in poor lighting or at the end of the day.
What is the Raindrop® Cornea Inlay?
Raindrop® is the world’s first inlay to change the shape of the cornea (the clear, front lens of the eye) to improve near vision and it is designed to reduce or eliminate the need for reading glasses. Raindrop® is made of a soft, biocompatible material called hydrogel. It has similar properties and water content as the cornea. Using a tiny lens comprised of approximately 80 percent water, it is placed under a LASIK-like flap in the cornea. Raindrop® resembles a tiny water droplet.
How does Raindrop® work?
Raindrop® works by gently changing the shape of the cornea. While Raindrop® is implanted in one eye only, both eyes work together to create one image. The Raindrop® eye provides an improvement in near vision associated with a slight decrease in distance vision. With both eyes working together this does not compromise distance vision and patients still have a significant improvement in near vision.
It is a tiny disc, about the size of a pinhead. It is comprised of approximately 80 percent water and is placed just beneath the surface of the eye. It works by gently changing the central curvature of the cornea, the clear front lens of the eye. Raindrop® is made of a soft, biocompatible material called hydrogel, which has similar properties and water content as the cornea.
Numbing drops are given for the procedure, and most patients do not experience any pain.
While Raindrop® is implanted in one eye only, both eyes work together to create one image. The Raindrop® eye provides an improvement in near vision associated with a slight decrease in distance vision. With both eyes working together there is no compromise for distance vision and patients still have a significant improvement in near vision.
Extensive trials and usage show that it is safe. This was confirmed by the US FDA. Raindrop® is bioengineered to facilitate the transport of nutrients and fluid to the eye.
Yes, the Raindrop® can be removed and most patients go back to their vision before Raindrop®.
Since Raindrop® is transparent 99.7% of light passes through the inlay reaches the back of the eye where the image is processed. Raindrop® offers patients good performance in all lighting conditions.
It is easily done as an outpatient procedure and takes approximately five minutes. Patients should be driven home after the procedure and should take it easy the rest of the day. Most patients return to normal activity the next day. Many people who have had the Raindrop® implanted, see an improvement in their near vision by one week and it continues to improve for several weeks. Patients need to use eye drops for several months for comfort and healing.
Transparent, so no one will realize there is a Raindrop® in your eye
Well suited for dim light situations as 99.7% of the light passes through the Raindrop® and reaches the back of the eye where the image is processed
Bioengineered to facilitate the transport of nutrients and fluid to the eye
Incredibly small – less than half the thickness of a human hair and about the size of a pinhead
Before the procedure, numbing drops are used to ensure the patient is comfortable. The surgeon creates a corneal flap on the surface of the eye using the iFS IntraLase™ laser. This is similar to the first step in LASIK. The Raindrop® Near Vision Inlay will be inserted into the middle layer of the cornea. The corneal flap is carefully put back into place, completing the procedure.
Step 1: Create corneal flap
Step 2: Lift flap and place Inlay
Step 3: Replace flap
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.
An eye shield will be worn at night for up to one week to help while sleeping. Steroid and antibiotic eye drops will be prescribed. Artificial tears will need to be used in the eye with the Raindrop® Near Vision Inlay to help minimize the risk of dry eye.
After your surgery, you should avoid rubbing your eyes, playing sports, wearing makeup, exercising, smoking, swimming, gardening, and being in dusty environments for at least one week after your procedure. It is best to check with your eye care provider to determine when you can resume these activities.