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Implant approved to treat presbyopia

April 05, 2013 - 9 comments

A tiny implant created to be placed in the cornea and improve near vision and also depth of field has been approved by Health Canada.

The Kamra implant, approved for use to correct presbyopia in Canada last September, is shaped like a ring, measures 3.8 mm wide, with a central opening of 1.6 mm, and is one-tenth the thickness of a sheet of paper. It is placed in the cornea, the transparent surface of the ocular globe, in front of the pupil, not inside the eye. It only allows the central rays of light that provide clear vision to pass through, blocking the peripheral rays that blur focus.

According to Quebec doctors Marc Mullie and Gordon Balazsi, who are the first doctors in that province to use the new technology, the Kamra implant provides easier, more convenient and more comfortable natural vision than other solutions for near vision, without altering distance vision.

Presbyopia is caused by changes in the lens of the eye that reduce its elasticity and causes a loss of close-up vision, generally affecting men and women over age 40. People with presbyopia require reading glasses for most close-up visual tasks, such as reading a newspaper.

Presbyopia currently affects approximately 53 per cent of Canadians, or some 17-million people.

Doctors Mullie and Balazsi have performed over 100,000 laser eye procedures in the past 20 years.

Specialists in refractive surgery, which is the laser correction of myopia, astigmatism and hyperopia, Mullie and Balazsi will now treat presbyopia as well. They held a press conference in Montreal on Feb. 12 to discuss the new procedure and introduce a new spokesperson, TV and radio broadcaster Sonia Benezra, who has already had the procedure done.

Mullie and Balazsi were also the first in Canada to receive the treatment as patients during a trip to Japan in June 2012.


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