If you’re at the age where you need reading glasses to see your phone or read a menu or computer screen, UR Medicine’s Flaum Eye Institute today introduced a way to toss them aside: the new Raindrop vision procedure.
“This is a new procedure that allows people to eliminate the use of reading glasses once they’ve developed presbyopia and the need for near-vision correction,” said Scott MacRae, M.D., who is the first in the Finger Lakes region to provide this procedure. An international leader in LASIK vision correction, MacRae is director of UR Medicine Refractive Services, and a professor of Ophthalmology at the University of Rochester Medical Center and of Visual Science at the Center for Visual Science at the University of Rochester.
Presbyopia is a condition that causes your eye to lose the ability to change focus from distant to near objects. It is a natural part of aging that most people begin to experience after age 40. The Raindrop Near Vision Inlay is a safe way to treat the condition. It was FDA-approved in June 2016, though ophthalmologists around the world have been using it for years.
Raindrop is the world’s first inlay to change the shape of the cornea – the clear, front part of the eye – to improve near vision. It is about 80 percent water and looks like a tiny droplet of water. It’s about the size of a pinhead and less than half the thickness of a human hair, and is bioengineered to mimic the natural cornea.
The outpatient procedure, which is not covered by insurers, takes about 10 minutes and patients are able to resume their daily activities the following day. In early clinical studies, patients were able to read five additional lines on an eye chart within a week of the procedure. Full recovery can take up to 12 weeks for some people.
“We’ve been following this technology for some time and I think it is an effective solution for people who want to reduce or eliminate their reading glasses,” MacRae said. He says very active people grow weary of reaching for reading glasses throughout the day and are looking for an alternative.
Quick facts about the technology:
- Transparent, so no one will realize there is a Raindrop in your eye;
- Approximately 80 percent water, Raindrop resembles a tiny water droplet;
- Well-suited for dim light situations as 99.7 percent of the light passes through the Raindrop and reaches the back of the eye where the image is processed;
- Bioengineered to facilitate the transport of nutrients and fluid to the eye;
- Incredibly small – less than half the thickness of a human hair and about the size of a pinhead.
For more information, call the Flaum Eye Institute at (585) 273-2020.