Sunday, November 20, 2011

For those in mid life

Maybe for you and then again maybe not

Are your eyes having a midlife crisis?

Once you reach your mid-forties, problems with blurred near vision are common.

Few escape a mid-life crisis in their vision. 

From an average age of 45, most of us develop those giveaway physical tics – moving menus back and forwards.

Books up and down, squinting and peering and closing one eye, as the eyes lose their ability to focus on near objects.

The condition, known as presbyopia or “middle-aged spread of the eye”, is thought to be caused by the weakening of the tiny muscles that normally control the lens shape.

As well as stiffening of the lens itself and minute changes to its curvature.

Until now, options for treatment have been limited. 

While most of the 4.5 million Britons affected will acquire reading glasses, it is possible to be fitted with a single contact lens

Or to have Lasik, a type of laser surgery more often used for short-sightedness (myopia), to correct one eye.

This reshapes the cornea (the clear part at the front of the eye, through which images are focused) and “tricks” the brain into adjusting its near-vision focus without losing the advantage of retaining long-distance vision in the other eye.

But Lasik involves a small flap being cut into the corneal surface and, like any invasive procedure, there are risks of side effects such as infection. 

Another solution is the operation routinely used for cataracts, in which the natural lens (which may still be healthy and clear at this age) is replaced with an artificial, multi-focal lens.

This is a drastic option, with either of the surgical interventions, patients can be left with permanent glare and halo, and that irritating sensation of dry eye. 

Now there is another option taking only 20 seconds to perform, the Intracor laser procedure is a gentle, safe, effective* and fast laser treatment.

The treatment not only treats your near vision, but also maintains good vision at all other distances, intermediate and distance vision.

The procedure is performed using a high-tech laser system called the Technolas Femtosecond Workstation which is made by a German company called Technolas Perfect Vision GmbH.

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 you to see near 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 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 whole procedure is over in just 20 seconds.
Intracor has been subjected to two clinical trials so far, with promising results for patients with presbyopia.
Researchers at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, are conducting a longer term study to assess patient satisfaction after three years.
The cost – £2,200 for one eye  – is worth it for many.
The procedure is carried out on just one eye. 

Unlike conventional laser eye surgery, the new method does not involve any incision into the surface of the cornea. 

For 20 seconds, the beam of light, called a femtosecond laser, makes a series of precise, microscopic concentric ring patterns within the cornea, in an area called the stroma, subtly altering the shape.

The sensation is felt like “a firm, deep pressure. 

By the evening, the patient can read as the drops wear off and by the next morning vision should be perfect.

Sometimes there is been a slight blurring, which normally wears off.

Although the risk of infection is minimised, many use antibiotic drops for two weeks.

This is a relatively new procedure, and it is not suitable for everyone. 

In about 10 per cent of patients, it is necessary to carry out a revision as it doesn’t always work first time.

It is also not suitable for anyone with a prescription that is not stable, where the cornea will continue to change shape over time. 

But it is particularly useful for anyone who needs perfect night vision, because halos and glare are rare side effects.

Victoria Lambert

No comments: