Vision Correction Treatment Options
After the age of 40, many people start to become concerned with the effects of aging. Like our skin and joints, our eyes start to lose their flexibility and the clarity surrounding vision begins to change. Our aging eyes can often make what were once easy tasks much more difficult, such as reading a book or trying to view a text message on your smart phone. When our eyes lose their flexibility, this is called presbyopia. Presbyopia occurs when elasticity and flexibility is lost in the lens. Without the necessary elasticity, near vision becomes impossible. This lost elasticity means that the eye cannot change the shape of the lens, which makes things that require focusing the eye possible like the text in a book or seeing small objects while crafting. Although presbyopia is not an eye disease, many people after the age of 40 find that they need to use reading glasses to be able to see properly.
Presbyopia can be treated and corrected in several ways. The most common way is continued use of eyeglasses or contact lenses, which are only temporary solutions for presbyopia. For those that are looking for permanent treatment options for their presbyopia, there are procedures that are available.
What Permanent Treatment Options are there for Presbyopia?
The Raindrop® Inlay is a small and non-invasive procedure that is used to treat presbyopia. From start to finish, inserting the Raindrop® Inlay only takes about ten minutes to perform, and is typically inserted into a patient’s non-dominant eye. Raindrop® is made up of a flexible, soft hydrogel material, and is composed of 80% water, making it the most natural inlay that is currently on the market. Like LASIK, the Raindrop® inlay is placed into the eye by creating a flap for the inlay to lay inside. This flap reshapes the cornea, leading to improved vision, including near and distance vision. The recovery process for the Raindrop® inlay is relatively quick, letting you get back to your day to day activities just 24-48 hours after the procedure. Many patients report that they have better vision almost immediately after receiving Raindrop® but it does depend on the patient.
Symfony Tecnis IOL
For those that suffer from both presbyopia and cataracts, the Symfony Tecnis IOL is a fantastic treatment option. The Symfony IOL is the first of its kind, and is the only IOL on the market can treat both presbyopia and cataracts at the same time. With the Symfony IOL, it is inserted into the eye, and used to replace the aged cataract that is causing cloudy vision. Once the lens is replaced, the Symfony IOL leaves clear vision, rather than glare and halos around lights like traditional cataract surgery can. The Symfony IOL also removes the need for reading glasses, because standard lenses are not used to replace the aged lens of the eye. In its place, the Symfony IOL only leaves clear vision and a higher quality of life for the patients that receive it.
RAINDROP NEAR VISION INLAY
What is the Raindrop Near Vision Inlay?
If you’re at the age where you need reading glasses to see your phone or read a newspaper, menu or computer screen, we have a better option: The new FDA approved Raindrop procedure. The Eye Institute of West Florida is the first and only ophthalmology practice offering our patients this revolutionary procedure in Tampa Bay. Dr. Robert Weinstock is the first surgeon in the Tampa Bay area to perform the procedure, enabling patients to reduce or eliminate their need for reading glasses. Raindrop Near Vision Inlay is a safe way to treat presbyopia, age related near vision loss. 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. 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. Raindrop is incredibly small – 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 takes about 5 minutes and patients go back to most of their daily activities the next day.
How does the Raindrop® Near Vision Inlay work?
During the Raindrop® procedure, a flap is created using the femtosecond laser. The inlay is then placed within the cornea, under the flap. Once the inlay is positioned, in position, the flap is placed back over the eye. The inlay acts as a multifocal contact lens, and patients are typically able to see close-up without glasses in about 24-48 hours, with near vision continuing to improve over the following weeks.
How long does the procedure take?
This outpatient procedure generally takes about 5-10 minutes. Patients will be able to go home and relax following the procedure. Typically, most people will be able to resume normal daily activities within a day.
Is Raindrop covered by Insurance?
Similar to LASIK or a Clear Lens Exchange, the Raindrop® procedure is not covered by insurance. The Eye Institute of West Florida proudly offers our patients financing options, such as Care Credit and Wells Fargo.
Who is the ideal Raindrop candidate?
The ideal Raindrop candidate is somebody over the age of 40 who does not struggle with their distance vision but has poor near vision and is frustrated with constantly looking for their reading glasses. This candidate does not have other ocular diseases such as glaucoma or age-related macular degeneration. If you think you may be a candidate, call our office today at (727) 581-8706 to schedule your complimentary screening.
If you’re interested in learning more about Raindrop® or Symfony, please schedule an appointment to talk to one of our doctors. Although both procedures can be great options for people who have presbyopia, not everyone may be a good candidate to receive these procedures.
LASIK Largo, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, and Tampa
LASIK (Laser in Situ Keratomileusis) is a minor all laser outpatient procedure that corrects nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism and is intended to reduce or eliminate dependence on glasses and contact lenses. During the procedure, our physicians create a flap from the outermost layer of the cornea using the latest femtosecond laser or "bladeless" technology. The flap is folded back revealing the middle section of the cornea. The cool beam of the excimer laser removes tissue and gently reshapes the cornea. The top layer of cornea is then replaced to serve as a protective cover. For nearsighted or myopic patients, the cornea is too steep. The LASIK procedure removes cells from the central part of the cornea flattening it for clearer vision. For farsighted or hyperopic patients, the cornea is too flat. The LASIK procedure removes cells from the peripheral of the cornea. This steepens the cornea and creates clearer vision. For astigmatism, a combination of both is used to precisely reshape the cornea for clearer vision.
The flap is then replaced and, in most patients, has already healed significantly within twenty-four hours. The natural suction of the eye holds the flap in place. No sutures are necessary. These permanent adjustments allow the cornea to focus light onto the retina of the eye, resulting in normal focus without glasses!
The Evolution of LASIK
There were several laser vision correction procedures being performed before LASIK (Laser in Situ Keratomileusis). Through the developmental stages of laser vision correction surgeons noticed certain side effects and limitations with the original procedures. As time went on, each procedure developed a more predictable result and faster recovery. LASIK embodies the positives of ALK, RK and PRK without the pain and long recovery periods. The following will briefly highlight pros and cons of these procedures.
RK, or Radial Keratotomy, was popular in the 1970's. The surgeon would make radial incisions on the surface of the cornea, resulting in a flattening effect in the cornea and visual axis. This procedure culminated in a slightly painful recovery, due to the abrasion created by the incisions. Furthermore, in the long-term the shape of the cornea was often rendered irregular and unstable.
PRK, or Photorefractive Keratectomy was the next improvement to vision correction. Rather than making radial incisions on the cornea, an excimer laser was used to sculpt and reshape the surface of the cornea without making a flap. With PRK, patients experienced gradual visual improvement over a few days or even months and may have mild discomfort for approximately 48 to 72 hours while healing.
LASIK, as with PRK, uses an excimer laser to reshape the surface of the cornea. In this procedure, a mechanical device, called a microkeratome, uses a blade to make a flap in the outer layer of the cornea. The flap is folded back, exposing the corneal tissue to allow the excimer laser to gently reshape the surface. The flap is then carefully replaced into its original position. The natural suction of the eye holds the flap in place, much like the eye would do with a contact lens, without sutures. With LASIK, patients experience virtually no pain, have no scar tissue and have highly predictable results.
ALL-LASER LASIK utilizes the most advanced vision correction technology available. The procedure is similar to traditional LASIK but uses the latest laser technology instead of a blade to make a more precise LASIK flap. Bladeless technology is guided by the precision and accuracy of the laser to define the flap diameter, its thickness and hinge position for the most comfortable patient experience. The benefit of all-laser LASIK reduces surgical risks, minimizes complications and improves results. Furthermore, this cutting edge technology affords laser vision correction to those patients who may not have otherwise been a candidate using traditional LASIK technology.
The Weinstock Laser Eye Center was the first to introduce the excimer laser to Largo, Clearwater, St. Petersburg, Tampa in Pinellas County and is proud to be amongst the few elite LASIK centers to offer all-laser LASIK. With our knowledgeable and experienced LASIK experts, you have a choice. Discover why more and more patients choose Dr. Robert Weinstock and Dr. Neel Desai to ensure that they receive optimal visual results from the most advanced technology available.