Cutting-edge treatments may help people with aging eyes to be able to see close without reading glasses. The new treatments use lasers to reshape a part of the cornea, along with another technique that uses painless electrostimulation to improve blurry near vision—known as presbyopia.
Eye conditions including presbyopia often occur in adults 40 years or older, which is why many adults often rely on reading glasses to correct their farsightedness. Wearing glasses, although a simple presbyopia treatment, can be an inconvenience for patients as they may not be aesthetically pleasing and must always be put back on when needed. Therefore, there is a strong need for alternative presbyopia treatments to eliminate the hassle of glasses.
The first approach to improving farsightedness uses a femtosecond laser that extracts a disc of corneal tissue to re-sculpt it. The other type of treatment uses electrostimulation, which activates and exercises the eye muscle that controls near vision. There is no surgery involved with the second treatment, which gives it additional benefits compared to other presbyopia treatments.
There is a growing popularity in surgical treatments to fix presbyopia, but drawbacks of these procedures have been noted. For example, synthetic corneal inlays increase the risk of the eye rejecting it, which is why it’s important to improve such treatments to obtain higher success rates with minimal complications.
Lead author of the study and creator of the procedure to reshape the cornea, Soosan Jacob, explained that “The PEARL inlay changes the shape of the cornea to improve near vision. Because it’s made of human corneal tissue, the inlay remains stable. Our preliminary findings have been very promising.”
So far these treatments are still in their experimental phase but have shown great promise. There is no doubt that they will be implemented as real treatments for adults looking to correct their vision.
“Treatments may help people with aging eyes see up close without reading glasses,” American Academy of Ophthamology, https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-10/aaoo-tmh101816.php, last accessed October 19, 2016.