While it is no surprise that small type and fine print gets harder to distinguish as we get older, blurred vision can certainly be frustrating. We wonder if the lettering on food labels, magazine articles, book pages, and instructions are getting tinier or if our eyes are getting worse. This condition is known as presbyopia, an age-related condition that affects the eye’s ability to focus.
If your aging eyes are struggling to decipher small print, there may be a solution that does not involve getting a stronger eyeglass prescription. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved an implant called the Raindrop Near Vision Inlay that can change the focusing power of the eye.
The small implant that looks like a tiny contact lens is placed in the cornea of one eye (not both). Smaller than the eye of a needle, this newly-approved device is designed for adults between the ages of 41 and 65 who cannot focus on near objects or fine print. Candidates for the Raindrop must not have had cataract surgery, and they must require reading glasses with +1.50 to +2.50 diopeters of power. But these patients do not require glasses or contacts for distance vision.
The implanting of the Raindrop is quite simple. An eye surgeon makes a small flap in the cornea of the non-dominant eye, sets the device in place, and puts the flap back. The FDA approved the implant after following the results of a 300-patient clinical trial. After two years of using the Raindrop implant, 92 percent of the patients had 20/40 vision or better at near distances.
If you would like more information about the Raindrop Near Vision Inlay, talk to your local ophthalmologist. There are some drawbacks and risk factors of which you should be aware. Complications are rare but may include:
- Possible worsening of glares and halos
- Risk of infection
- Risk of corneal scarring, inflammation, thinning, clouding or melting
- Possible requirement of a second surgery
If you do not have an eye care specialist, use our Find a Physician tool to find a licensed ophthalmologist near you. Staying current with your comprehensive eye exams and communicating any vision changes to your doctor are the best way to preserve your vision for years to come (Source: US News).