Presbyopia: A vision for cure with technology
Problems reading close up? If yes, then the person might be suffering from Presbyopia, an age-related condition that causes blurred near vision. Since decades, presbyopia is corrected with the use of bifocal glasses. Today, there are many ways to correct this condition.
Presbyopia is a condition, caused by ageing (around 40-45 years of age) in which people find it difficult to read small words at close distances or to work on the computer for long periods of time. The condition is sometimes called short arm syndrome, because sufferers must often push small print to an arm’s length to be able to read it.
Presbyopia is a vision condition in which the crystalline lens of eye loses its flexibility, which makes it difficult to focus on close objects. It is a natural part of the ageing process of the eye.
Presbyopia is as inevitable as Income Tax. Two factors happen – the lens gets harder and cannot change its shape as easily while the internal eye muscles also lose their function and cannot control the elasticity of the lens well. The World Health Organization has made near vision problems (presbyopia) a priority. WHO (2009) estimates that 153 million people worldwide live with visual impairment due to uncorrected refractive errors. This figure does not include people living with uncorrected presbyopia, which is likely to be quite significant, according to some early evidence. Researchers now predict that the worldwide prevalence of presbyopia will increase to 1.4 billion people by 2020 and to 1.8 billion people by 2050.
The use of reading glasses is the most common solution for presbyopia. Because presbyopia is progressive, most people will eventually rely on reading glasses for their everyday activities, which require good near vision. Eyeglasses with bifocal or Progressive Addition Lenses (PALs) are the most common correction for presbyopia. Bifocal means two points of focus: the main part of the spectacle lens contains a prescription for distance vision, while the lower portion of the lens holds the stronger near prescription for close work. Other treatments for presbyopia include wearing special contact lenses or the anxiety of undergoing an invasive surgery, replacing the natural lens with Intraocular Lens (IOL), a special artificial lens implant procedure. Reading glasses are both inconvenient but also a sign of age, and can impact on your quality of life.
True solutions for presbyopia
Two such treatments are ‘Intracor’ and ‘Supracor’ from Technolas Perfect Vision. But there is lack of awareness of such technology. Other treatments available are spectacles, contact lens, bifocal lens.
Presbyopia can now be treated using a state-of-the-art, all-laser procedure called Intracor. The Intracor procedure is gentle, safe, effective and fast, taking only 20 seconds to perform.
The procedure is minimally invasive, as no surgical incisions or cuts are made to the eye. After only a few hours, patient will be able to return to usual activities. Intracor will typically allow one to read a restaurant menu, magazines, medical instructions, the newspaper, etc, making your life much easier and more comfortable. With the treatment of presbyopia with Intracor, quality of life will improve considerably, leaving one free to make the most of every moment. In Intracor, presbyopia is treated by a very gentle all-laser process which accurately adjusts the central shape of the cornea, the front of the eye, which allows one to see nearby objects again.
The entire procedure is performed without making a single surgical incision through the surfaces of the cornea as the laser is targeted to only work within the cornea, in an area called the stroma. The Intracor procedure uses the femtosecond laser to make a series of precise, microscopic concentric ring patterns in the stroma, which result in a minor alteration to the corneal curvature to compensate for the presbyopia.
The treatment takes only a 20 seconds and is very gentle, personalised treatment. The patient is able to quickly return to normal activities – including driving mostly after 1 day. It is minimally invasive, the risk of infection is minimised and is clinically proven – the intrastromal treatment is effective and safe.
Supracor, is the latest, LASIK laser treatment for presbyopia. Supracor procedure is based up the well- known LASIK technique, with over 3 million LASIK procedures are performed in the world each year. The cornea is reshaped to treat presbyopia, to provide excellent near, intermediate and distance vision. Close vision is generally improved to a level that glasses can be discarded in most situations; many patients no longer need them.
Supracor may also be an option for patients with previous LASIK surgery. The procedure is performed using a high-tech laser system called the TECHNOLAS Excimer Workstation. The treatment involves first creating a thin flap on the surface of the eye with either a femtosecond laser or a microkeratome. This upper layer or flap is then moved to one side to allow the surgeon access to the cornea. Then the surgeon uses the excimer laser to accurately reshape the cornea and treat the presbyopia. For optimum safety, the excimer laser uses the state-of-the-art Advanced Control Eyetracking (ACE) technology. Using iris recognition technology, this tracker continually tracks eye movements, rotation and pupil shift and simultaneously adjusts the laser beam to ensure the laser is accurately delivered during the entire procedure. At the end of the procedure, the surgeon repositions the flap to its original position. This allows the eye to naturally heal. The whole procedure takes only a few minutes.
Enhancing the quality of life
With the advancement in medical technologies, quality of life is bound to improve, more so in ophthalmology space as vision adds life to years. Presbyopia correction through LASIK laser techniques has really enhanced the hopes of many who do want to get rid of reading glasses as it is a single solution with progressive age.
By S KalyanaRaman, General Manager, Group Marketing & Corporate Communications, Trivitron Healthcare Pvt Ltd.