What is Presbyopia?
When people enter their 40s, the lens that sits behind the pupil begins to stiffen and lose its ability to change shape. As this occurs people begin to notice that they are having problems focusing from distance to near. They cannot stretch out their arms far enough. This progresses through the 40s and 50s and it happens to everyone. People who are nearsighted are able to see up close if they take off their glasses. People have to start wearing reading glasses if they have good distance vision. If they need glasses then they will need bifocals in order to see at distance and near.
What are the other options for correcting presbyopia other than glasses?
Non-Surgical Correction of Presbyopia
Monovision Contact Lenses
A person can wear a contact lens for distance in the dominant eye and a contact lens for near in the non-dominant eye.
Multifocal or Bifocal Contact Lenses
There several contact lenses on the market that provide distance and near in each eye.
Surgical Correction of Presbyopia
Conductive Keratoplasty (CK)
Conductive keratoplasty is the least invasive of the surgical procedures for correcting presbyopia. Conductive keratoplasty is performed by a radio frequency machine that shrinks collagen in the cornea. The treatment spots are place in the peripheral portion of the cornea and the central cornea where the visual axis is located is not touched. The collagen shrinks and causes the cornea to steepen and the eye becomes nearsighted. This is performed on the non-dominant eye. The person’s vision is blurred at distance. With conductive keratoplasty many people develop a blending of their distance and near vision.
The LASIK is performed on both eyes with the eye surgeon leaving the non-dominant eye nearsighted or performing LASIK on the non-dominant making it nearsighted. If the patient is proper amount of nearsighted in the non-dominant eye, then correcting the dominant eye for distance. It is important that the patient be comfortable with monovision before having LASIK performed in this manner. A trial of contact lenses with monovision is a good idea.
The LASIK is performed in a manner where different shaped zones are cut in the cornea to provide vision at distance and near. This has not been approved in the U.S. at this time but has been performed overseas with good success.
A corneal flap just like LASIK is performed and the corneal inlay is placed in the interface. It has multiple tiny holes that provide distance and near vision. It works very similar to the disposable pinhole cameras. There FDA trials currently investigating the Karma inlay.
There are several options for correcting presbyopia. You should discuss with your eye surgeon which are the best ones to consider based on the status of your eyes.