The KAMRA® Corneal Inlay Brings Life Back into Focus for Patients with Presbyopia, Blurring Near Vision
114 million people depend on reading glasses
Pinhole photography has fascinated us for centuries, from ancient Greek philosophers experimenting with the pinhole effect to today’s advanced smartphones utilizing small aperture technology to capture a clear image instantly. Now this scientific principle, and foundation of photography, is dramatically changing the way we see as we get older and reducing the need for dreaded reading glasses. The KAMRA corneal inlay, developed by AcuFocus, Inc., is a first-of-its-kind corneal inlay that brings life back into clear focus using the same principles of the pinhole effect for people with presbyopia, a natural loss of near vision that happens to all of us starting in our mid 40s.
An estimated 114 million people in the United States have presbyopia. Some of the signs and symptoms of presbyopia are stretching your arms out to see or read clearly and blurry near vision that often leads to a constant shuffle of taking reading glasses on and off. With presbyopia, the natural lens of the eye that flexes and focuses light allowing people to see near, becomes stiff over time. Eventually, the lens becomes inflexible and as a result seeing words and objects up close is increasingly difficult.
Using the pinhole effect, the KAMRA inlay focuses rays of light entering the eye to regain a continuous and uninterrupted range of vision from near to far. Smaller and thinner than a contact lens, the KAMRA inlay is a mini-ring with a tiny opening in the center creating a pinhole effect. The inlay is surgically placed in only one eye by an ophthalmologist to restore everyday vision allowing patients to clearly see text messages, read magazines or view a computer screen. Designed with the goal of reducing dependence on reading glasses for people 45 or older, the inlay has become especially popular with those who lead active lifestyles and want to function at all distances without the need to lug around glasses.
“Because the KAMRA inlay uses the pinhole effect, the range of vision is maintained over time. As you celebrate more birthdays, you are still maintaining clear vision from near to far. It is truly more of a lifelong presbyopic solution rather than the temporary solutions previously available,” said Dr. William Wiley, a nationally-renowned ophthalmologist and medical director at Clear Choice, the Cleveland Eye Clinic and Toledo LASIK Center. “As an ophthalmic surgeon, it was amazing seeing the excitement and delight those first patients had with their restored vision when they came back the first week. Since then we’ve done hundreds of KAMRA inlay procedures.”
The pinhole effect is different from other solutions for presbyopia. For years, monovision technology has been used in contact lenses and refractive vision correction. Monovision LASIK corrects one eye for near vision while the other eye remains focused on far vision. For most, this temporary solution means the loss of far vision and struggles with diminished depth perception and binocular visual function.
“Monovision is basically a static solution for a dynamic problem,” Dr. Wiley said. “However with the KAMRA inlay, you’re basically treating a dynamic problem with a dynamic solution. We’ve never had so many staff members jump on to one procedure. I think it’s sort of a testament, a great endorsement for the product to see the staff rally around it. We call them our KAMRA crew.”
Presbyopic patients also have relied on reading glasses, which only use one-way magnification, so the person must constantly remove their glasses to see things at a distance. Bifocals or progressive glasses correct for near and far vision, but like reading glasses, leave the patient tilting and craning their head to hit that sweet spot, basically the single point of clear focus that provides clarity, so they can finally read the screen, book or menu.
“The KAMRA inlay is a brilliant solution that moves beyond the compromises that are available today for presbyopes,” said Al Waterhouse, President and COO of AcuFocus. “Instead of a single clear focal point obtained with reading glasses and traditional monovision, pinhole technology stretches that focal point over a long range for seamless near to far vision. Other vision correction technologies rely on using increased lens power to influence near vision and compromises good far vision. The KAMRA inlay restores near vision while maintaining far vision.”