Will Reading Glasses Soon Become a Thing of the Past?

If you are over the age of 40, you have probably noticed a change in your near vision. Those words on book pages, recipes, food labels, and manuals are not as clear as they used to be, and you need to adjust the distance between the text and your eyes. It’s not just your imagination; your eyes are changing.

What is the next logical step? If you are like most other Americans, you will get tired of the squinting and straining and finally give up the fight and buy a pair of reading glasses at the grocery store. You’ll probably add a few more pairs to your collection over the next few months until your comprehensive eye exam when your eye doctor finally suggests that it is time to get that first pair of bifocals.

Thanks to a brand new procedure, you may be able to sidestep the ugly reading glasses! The Food and Drug Administration has approved a new procedure called KAMRA inlay surgery. About one-third of the size of a contact lens and one-fourth the thickness of a human hair, the KAMRA inlay is a small plastic-like disc that has a hole in the middle. The KAMRA disc is implanted in the cornea and it blocks unfocused rays of light, while allowing the focused rays of light to pass through. This results in the patient having clear near vision as well as distance vision. The inlay has to be implanted into only one eye to be effective, and the entire procedure takes only 20 minutes.

Compared to a $200 pair of reading glasses from your ophthalmologist, KAMRA inlay surgery is considerably more expensive. The procedure costs about $5,000, and it is typically not covered by insurance. However, many people find that the investment is worth the convenience. Imagine being able to have crisp near vision without ever needing your glasses! Another advantage is that the KAMRA inlay is reversible if, for some reason, a patient does not like it (Source: ABC News).

If you are always misplacing your reading glasses or you do not want to have to rely on glasses to do everyday activities, talk to your ophthalmologist about whether KAMRA inlay surgery is right for you.