Presbyopia is an eye condition in which hardening of the eye’s lens makes focusing at short distances more difficult. It is one of the more common vision problems causing people over 40 to need reading glasses. If you’re ready to say goodbye to your glasses you may want to consider presbyopia correction surgery. Treatment includes three main strategies: laser procedures such as LASIK surgery, as well as non-laser cornea and lens-based surgeries.
Are You a Candidate?
You may be a good candidate for presbyopia correction if you are an adult over the age of 21 who has been diagnosed with Presbyopia. Your eye doctor can accurately diagnose presbyopia through an eye exam and will make a recommendation as to the best treatment option for you.
Here are Your Treatment Options
Presbyopia correction surgeries may be performed on both eyes, or on only one eye (a monovision approach), in which one eye is corrected for distance vision and the other eye is made nearsighted, reducing the need for reading glasses.
Laser presbyopia surgeries such as LASIK restore near vision by using a laser to reshape the surface of the eye, changing the way the eye bends (refracts) light. During laser presbyopia surgeries, the surgeon can use a variety of methods such as laser ablation or surgically cutting a flap in the outside of the eye to access the underlying cornea. This cornea is then reshaped with a laser to adjust the way light is bent as it enters the eye.
There are several forms of non-laser presbyopia correction surgeries. Conductive Keratoplasty, or CK, uses a handheld radio frequency device to shrink targeted areas of tissue in the cornea increasing the curvature of the cornea for improved near vision. Also known as NearVision CK, this procedure is typically performed on only one eye taking a monovision approach to treating presbyopia.
Corneal implants are another option for presbyopia treatment. During corneal implant surgery, an artificial lens is implanted in the surface of the eye to reshape the cornea, providing improved near vision. These implants are placed without removing any of the natural tissues of the eye. During refractive lens exchange, or RLE, the surgeon removes the eye’s natural lens, replacing it with an artificial lens (known as an intraocular lens implant or IOL) to improve the eye’s focusing abilities.
The side effects associated with this procedure vary depending on the treatment used, but can include overcorrection or undercorrection, infection, and vision-related issues such as poor night vision. New surgical techniques to treat presbyopia are currently being developed and tested making long-term correction of presbyopia safer, more effective, and increasingly popular.
Recovery time is usually a week or less. During this initial recovery period, it is important to avoid doing anything that might irritate the eyes, such as contact sports or swimming. You may also need to avoid driving for several days. After undergoing the procedure, you can expect some vision disruptions such as blurriness, halos around lights, and poor night vision. Your vision will continue to improve in the weeks and months following surgery.
Cost of Presbyopia Correction
The cost of presbyopia correction varies widely depending on the technique used. You can expect the price to be between $1,500 and $4,000 per eye. Treatments tend to be slightly more expensive than those intended to treat nearsightedness or farsightedness. While the surgery is not usually covered by insurance, there are many financing options available making long-term vision correction affordable.