During a recent interview with NBC News, Dr. Hamilton spoke about a brand-new treatment for presbyopia, the gradual loss of focussing power of the eye, leading to the need for reading glasses. Presbyopia, part of the aging process, affects all Americans at some point, typically after the age of 45. This new ophthalmic device, Raindrop (Revision Optics, Lake Forest, CA), was recently approved by the FDA for patient between the ages of 41 and 65 who have good distance vision without glasses but require reading glasses. The device is placed into the cornea, the window on the front of the eye, through a channel created by a laser. The procedure takes between 5 and 10 minutes and near vision improves rapidly. Dr. Hamilton noted, however, that this type of procedure is not the “be all to end all”. The Raindrop may work for a period of time but the human lens continues to change. Everyone will get a significant cataract at some point, a cloudiness in the human lens. When this occurs, the Raindrop will no longer work well and the patient will need cataract surgery. Fortunately, surgeons who are well versed in modern refractive cataract surgery, can often restore a full range of vision, including distance and near vision, without glasses. With technology constantly changing, it is important for eye surgeons to stay at the forefront of these new technologies. Consequently, it is very important for patients to look for an ophthalmologist who is experienced in both cataract and refractive (e.g. LASIK) surgical procedures so they can feel confident they are being offered the best option for their individual circumstances.
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