Q: Are there any new and exciting technologies that may soon be available in eye surgery?
We were one of a handful of worldwide clinics recently chosen to participate in the US Clinical Trials for the Acufocus® Corneal Inlay (ACI). Designed to improve functional near vision and reduce dependency on reading glasses, the ACI may offer a promising solution to presbyopia. The ACI has not yet been approved by the FDA. With time, the eye’s natural lens becomes too stiff to focus up close. As a result, words and other nearby objects are blurry. The clinical term for this loss of near vision is presbyopia. This condition happens to everyone and typically occurs between the ages of 40 and 50. The ACI is a mini-ring with an opening in the center. It is much smaller than a contact lens and lighter than a grain of salt. The opening in the center of the inlay restores near and intermediate vision by focusing light coming into the eye. In addition, the inlay’s advanced design features 8,400 high precision, laser etched micro-openings along the surface to help the cornea stay healthy. In the US clinical trial, which was started in February 2009, we contributed 65 of the study’s nearly 504 patients. These patients will need to be followed for three years. We were fortunate to be selected as one of the main sites for this investigational, futuristic technology and anxiously await the time we will be able to offer this on a wider scale to all of our patients.