Corneal Inlays and the Future of Reading Glasses

Could it be that reading glasses may, someday, be a thing of the past? Turns out that scientists are perfecting a corneal inlay that would serve as an alternative to reading glasses for those suffering from presbyopia. reading glasses Presbyopia is an eye condition where the muscles in the eye’s lens have a difficult time focusing on objects close up. For most people between the ages of 40 and 50 years old, this is a condition that is inevitable, even if their vision has been otherwise “perfect” until that time period. Many people find themselves requiring some sort of help, usually in the form of reading glasses, during this time of life. Although they don’t have to wear the reading glasses all the time–using them mainly for reading menus, phone screens, or other close up activities–there may be some who would rather not worry about carrying glasses along. The corneal inlay, which is still being evaluated for both effectiveness and safety, would help people with presbyopia and would preclude them from needing to wear glasses for reading and close-up work. Their eyes would be able to see close up, through the inlay, and their distance vision would be left intact. A fast surgical procedure is all that would be required to get the inlays into the your actual eyeballs. But the time involved with the surgery is probably the least of its drawbacks. Most expect the procedure would cost about the same as similar eye procedures (like Lasik) and that it would not be covered by insurance. During the procedure, two small slits are cut into the front of the eye and the inlay is inserted. There are a few different types of lenses being tested right now. One works to reshape the cornea, one has different levels of magnification–for both far away and up close. Yet another is more of a donut type ring that limits the visual field to help you see better, close up. Initial field-testing of all three rings are promising. Though side effects like reduced night vision, halo rings, hazy sight, and dry eye may be a deterrent to those interested in the procedure. Obviously, none of these issues would occur for the person wearing reading glasses, so the risk may be significant enough to discourage many potential patients from having it done. But, as science continues to advance, it should be interesting to see how vision correction continues to change.

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