The FDA has recently approved eye implants placed in the cornea to help the eye better focus on small print and nearby objects. The implant is aimed for aging baby boomers who suffer from age-related loss of focus (presbyopia).
Dr. William Maisel of the FDA said in a news release, “Given the prevalence of presbyopia and the aging of the baby boomer population, the need for near vision correction will likely rise in the coming years.”
The implant looks like a small contact lens, smaller than the tip of a needle. The procedure is approved for those aged 41 to 65 who have not undergone cataract surgery, can’t focus clearly on near objects or small print, and require reading glasses with +1.50 to +2.50 diopters of power, according to the FDA.
To insert the implant, a surgeon creates a flap in the cornea of the patient’s non-dominant eye using a laser. The implant is then slid underneath the flap, which is then put back into place.
The approval comes from clinical trials involving over 300 patients. After two years of receiving the implant, 92 percent of patients were able to see with 20/40 vision or better at near distances.
Side effects of the implant include worsening of halos or glare, as well as the risk of developing infection that could led to complications of the cornea.
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