ABC News: Even if you’ve never had a vision problem you are likely gonna end up with presbyopia, that is the age-related issue that makes it harder to read things like books or menus up close.
I’m quite familiar with that, but as health specialist Denise Dador reports, a newly approved vision procedure may make it possible to throw away your reading glasses for good.
DENISE DADOR: About seven years ago, Kim Webb a nursing student, noticed she was struggling to read words on prescription bottles, magazines, and on her phone.
KIM WEBB: It was really getting bad, and I knew it was getting worse and worse.
DENISE DADOR: Kim’s one of 114 million Americans over the age of 40 dealing with presbyopia. This is when the eyes lose their ability to zoom in on nearby objects or words,
DR. ASSIL: The eye’s like a camera and has a zoom lens on the inside. Around the age of 40 that zoom lens starts to stiffen.
DENISE DADOR: So Kim decided to try a new FDA approved corneal implant named the Kamra. It’s called that because it works like one, helping the eyes increase their depth of focus.
DR. ASSIL: It’s about 1% in size and volume of a contact lens; it’s so tiny it could almost be invisible.
DENISE DADOR: Dr. Kerry Assil has been investigating the Kamra device for about 15 years.
DR. ASSIL: It’s just as easy to take out as it is to put in.
DENISE DADOR: During the 15 minute procedure, the tiny disc is embedded right beneath the surface of the corneal tissue.
KIM WEBB: You don’t feel a thing. Like I thought maybe I would feel it or – you don’t feel anything in your eye at all. So, it’s no difference.
DENISE DADOR: With all eye surgeries, the biggest risk is infection. Potential side effects include nighttime halos or glare, and …
DR. ASSIL: Many patients don’t get the instant, that wow effect.
DENISE DADOR: Dr. Assil says it takes about a week for the full effect to kick in because that’s how long it takes for the brain – eye coordination to take hold. But for Kim, she started seeing some fine print right away.
KIM WEBB: And now I can see. No more blurriness.
DENISE DADOR: A week later, she was reading better than 20/20.
KIM WEBB: 4, 2 …
DR. ASSIL: Good.
KIM WEBB: 8, 7, 3 …
DR. ASSIL: You can stop showing off!
DENISE DADOR: The cost of is about $5,000 and it’s not covered by insurance. Kim says she’s thrilled with the results.
KIM WEBB: It’s like having young eyes again. That’s right!
DENISE DADOR: In Beverly Hills, Denise Dador, ABC 7 Eyewitness News.
ABC: Hmm, sign me up for that I think.