• Woman with a headache takes off her glasses and holds her head

Can Presbyopia be treated with LASIK?

First off, what is pres­by­opia? Pres­by­opia is the grad­ual wors­en­ing of an individual’s abil­i­ty to see and focus on things that are close-up. Most peo­ple who suf­fer from pres­by­opia begin to expe­ri­ence the change in their ear­ly 40s. The cause behind the wors­en­ing of the close-up vision is due to the nat­ur­al thick­en­ing and hard­en­ing of the eye’s lens. Symp­toms that indi­vid­u­als start to notice are dif­fi­cul­ty read­ing, using the com­put­er or oth­er tasks that require close-up focus, a need to hold read­ing mate­r­i­al at arm’s length, or fre­quent headaches or eye strain while per­form­ing close-up tasks.

Many indi­vid­u­als take a non­sur­gi­cal approach for pres­by­opia treat­ment such as mag­ni­fy­ing read­ing glass­es (like the kind from drug­stores), bet­ter qual­i­ty pre­scrip­tion glass­es, bi or tri­fo­cal lens­es for glass­es, or mono­vi­sion con­tacts (one eye for far, one eye for near) of mul­ti­fo­cal con­tacts (two or three pre­scrip­tions per con­tact lens).

There are few options for sur­gi­cal treat­ment of pres­by­opia, how­ev­er, two are not avail­able in the Unit­ed States at the time but seem to be on the hori­zon for being future options. The first option is a vari­a­tion of LASIK surgery called mono­vi­sion LASIK, which cor­rects one eye for use of dis­tance vision and leaves the oth­er eye for close-up work. Adjust­ing to mono­vi­sion may be dif­fi­cult for some patients and depth per­cep­tion may be affect­ed. The last avail­able option in the U.S. is refrac­tive lens exchange, which is very sim­i­lar to the process of cataract surgery. The sur­geon removes the eye’s nat­ur­al lens and replaces it with an arti­fi­cial one allow­ing for nat­ur­al vision to be restored.

The two pro­ce­dures are called KAMRA inlay and mul­ti­fo­cal LASIK. The KAMRA inlay is a pro­ce­dure in which a very small con­tact lens is implant­ed in each oth­er that allows for clear and com­fort­able vision. KAMRA was just approved by the FDA last year and has been very suc­cess­ful so far, for more infor­ma­tion on this pro­ce­dure you can read Dr. Stet­son dis­cuss KAMRA in a recent press release. Mul­ti­fo­cal LASIK, or pres­by­LASIK is anoth­er sur­gi­cal treat­ment option avail­able. This pro­ce­dure is sim­i­lar to nor­mal LASIK surgery, but the laser is used to cre­ate 3 dif­fer­ent regions of vision in each eye; near, inter­me­di­ate, and far vision.

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July 20th, 2016|Comments Off on Can Presbyopia be treated with LASIK?

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