Understanding Near Vision Loss
Before getting into the details of the Kamra inlay, you should understand more about near vision loss. We are born with a crystal clear lens that unconsciously changes shape to switch our focus from distance objects to near objects, like the lens of a camera. Unfortunately, this lens slowly thickens and stiffens every year of our life. Most of us do not notice this process until after the age of 40, when the loss of lens flexibility makes our eyes unable to focus on near objects like reading. The loss of lens elasticity is called presbyopia, and has recently been renamed Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome Stage 1 by several prominent physicians. This natural change is frustrating because we become more reliant on reading glasses (“cheaters”) to see computer or cellphone screens clearly. Early on in presbyopia, someone may notice symptoms only later in the day when tired from reading a computer screen for several hours, or when attempting to read small print in dim light. Using readers for any near tasks ultimately becomes an all-too-familiar necessity as presbyopia progresses.
Inlay vs. Contact Lens
How Does The Kamra Inlay Help Improve Near Vision?
The Kamra inlay can free patients from the frustrating need to wear reading glasses. The actual inlay is much smaller and thinner than a contact lens, and is shaped like a small disc with an opening, or pinhole, in the center. This pinhole allows the Kamra to focus light entering the center of the eye, while the peripheral blurry light is excluded. The inlay is implanted in the cornea (clear front window) of only one eye, and the non-Kamra eye is left untouched. Patients maintain their clear distance vision and depth perception, but gain both intermediate and near vision! This differs from monovision (correcting one eye for distance vision and one eye for near vision), which does not last over time and can impact depth perception.
Details About The Kamra Procedure And Recovery
Just like LASIK, the entire procedure typically takes between 10-20 minutes. First, numbing drops are used to prevent any discomfort. Then, the patient may feel slight pressure for a few seconds while the laser creates a pocket in the cornea for the inlay. The Kamra inlay is then placed in the pocket, and is centered on the visual axis. Later in the day, the eye may feel mildly irritated, scratchy, and light sensitive. Medications will be provided in order to minimize these symptoms. The speed of recovery varies from patient to patient. Most patients can return to work in 24-48 hours. Some people heal quickly and notice vision improvement in less than 1-4 weeks. Others may take additional time to heal. Fluctuations are common for the first few months as the brain adapts to the new visual system.
Who Is A Good Candidate For The Kamra Inlay?
Ideal candidates are between the ages of 40 and 65, have healthy eyes, and are noticing increasing difficulty with near vision. Just as we do with LASIK, our clinic offers a complimentary screening exam and consultation for Kamra.