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If you need reading glasses, it may be because you have presbyopia – a naturally occurring loss of near vision that affects millions of people everyday. Like grey hair and wrinkles, presbyopia is considered a normal part of the aging process. The first symptoms usually occur between the ages of 40 – 50. However, the ability to focus on near objects declines throughout life, and generally levels off near the age of 60.
Presbyopia is believed to be caused by the gradual loss of elasticity, or flexibility, of the eye's natural lens. As the lens loses its flexibility over time, the eye has a harder time focusing up close.
The onset of presbyopia is noticeable when you need to hold books, menus, and other fine print items at arm's length in order to read them. As a result, people with presbyopia depend on reading glasses, contact lenses, or other solutions to help them see up close.
The PresbyLens® Corneal Inlay
Doctors are now evaluating a 15-minute outpatient procedure designed to improve near vision and reduce or eliminate the need for reading glasses. The procedure uses the PresbyLens® corneal inlay, and is currently being offered as part of a new clinical study.
The PresbyLens is a clear circular implant – like a tiny contact lens – that is implanted just beneath the surface of the eye. It is 2 millimeters in diameter (the size of a pinhead) and less than half the thickness of a human hair. The lens is designed so that it cannot be seen or felt once in place.
The PresbyLens is made of a water-based material called a hydrogel, commonly used in soft contact lenses. The lens works by gently reshaping the curvature of the cornea (the clear front part of the eye) so that it can more strongly focus light entering the eye. The PresbyLens is placed only in one eye, the non-dominant eye, leaving your other eye untouched. Once in place, the PresbyLens is designed to improve near vision when focusing up close.
The PresbyLens® Procedure
The PresbyLens is implanted just beneath the surface of the eye during an outpatient procedure. Similar to the common LASIK procedure, a specialized laser is used to create a thin, circular flap in the cornea. The flap is lifted and the PresbyLens is laid in place and allowed to adhere. Once the lens adheres, the flap is closed and the surgery is complete.
The PresbyLens procedure is typically performed in less than 15 minutes, with most patients returning to their normal activities the day after their procedure.
The PresbyLens Clinical Study is currently being conducted at several specialized ophthalmology centers throughout the U.S. Slade & Baker Vision Center is the only site in Houston, TX where this clinical trial is being offered. UPDATE: We are currently not enrolling patients for this near vision study but please check back in with us to see when we re-open enrollment!
For patients that qualify for this study, they will receive this procedure at NO charge.
If you think you may qualify as a candidate for this Presbylens trial, or if you have presbyopia and want to see if you qualify, please contact us at 713-626-5544 to schedule a consultation.
To read more about the PresbyLens® Corneal Inlay, please click here.