Presbyopia implants improve vision

Corneal implants could provide an alternative to reading glasses in patients with presbyopia, according to new evidence presented at the annual meeting for the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO).

Researchers presenting at AAO 2014 in Chicago last week (October 18), showed that the KAMRA inlay, a thin ‘doughnut-shaped’ ring device inserted into the cornea, can provide a long-lasting solution for patients, potentially dispensing with the need for reading glasses.

In the study, 507 presbyopes aged between 45–60 in the US, Europe and Asia, with no incidence of myopia, received the corneal inlay device. Over the three-year follow up period the researchers saw 20/40 vision in 83% of eyes with the implant and, on average, patients gained 2.9 lines on a reading chart.

The KAMRA inlay is a flexible plastic disc (3.8mm in diameter) with a central hole (1.7mm in diameter), which adjusts the depth of field. The device can be inserted in 10 minute, under local anaesthetic. One of the biggest advantages is that it can be removed, if necessary.

Dr John Vukich, from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and who led the poster presentation, said: “This is a solution that truly delivers near vision that transitions smoothly to far distance.”

He added: “Corneal inlays represent a great opportunity to improve vision with a safety net of removability.”

The device is approved in the EU, Asia and South America, and is currently under review by the FDA in the US.

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