‘I think I left my reading glasses on my nightstand. Oh no, maybe I put them in my purse? I was reading the newspaper this morning, so I know I had them in the kitchen at some point. Oh! I’ll just grab the pair I hid from myself so I wouldn’t lose them. I hid them in the kitchen cabinet, right?’
Does this scene sound familiar? If so, The Eye Institute of West Florida has a solution to help you lose your reading glasses…on purpose. The FDA-approved Raindrop Near Vision Inlay, a procedure that corrects presbyopia, reducing or eliminating the need for reading glasses.
Presbyopia is a natural part of the aging process and typically happens beginning around 40-years-old. The eye’s natural lens gradually hardens, causing the eye to lose the ability to focus on close objects, such as a book, cell phone, computer or newspaper. The first signs of presbyopia are typically eyestrain, difficulty seeing well in dim light and trouble focusing on small objects or fine print. Robert Weinstock, MD, Director of Cataract and Refractive Surgery at The Eye Institute of West Florida, explained that being able to offer patients a solution to the hassle of needing reading glasses has changed the way presbyopia is being treated. The Eye Institute of West Florida was the first practice in Tampa Bay to offer Raindrop Near Vision Inlay, a tiny implant designed to reshape the cornea to restore near vision without compromising distance vision.
“Raindrop is the best option available for people over the age of 40 who find themselves frustrated with the constant battle of ‘on, off, on, off,’” Dr. Weinstock explains. “This procedure is really the first of its kind. Until Raindrop was approved, there wasn’t a great way to correct near vision without affecting distance vision. Patients primarily just dealt with it and wore reading glasses.”
The Raindrop is a hydrogel device, comprised of 80% water and at only two millimeters in diameter, it is smaller than a needle head and half the thickness of a human hair. The material resembles a contact lens and lays in the cornea, focusing light as it comes into your eye.
“The Raindrop is specifically designed not to wear off over time. Even if a patient’s near vision continues decreasing, the Raindrop will not lose its strength,” Dr. Weinstock describes. He continues, “The results have been quite impressive, and it gives refractive surgeons a way to further customize each patient’s treatment based on their visual needs and goals. We can implant the Raindrop in combination with another vision correcting procedure to ensure optimal vision improvement at all ranges or perform this procedure alone to target only near vision.”
For Debbie, after hearing about an option to say goodbye to her reading glasses, she knew it was something she wanted to find out more about. She had reading glasses in every room in her house, in the car, in her purse. Still, she found times when she was looking for her readers, even though she had so many pairs.
“I wanted to get rid of them, and I knew there had to be a way,” Debbie explained. “I read about a new option, the Raindrop Inlay procedure. I started to do some research to see which doctors performed it locally, and I found The Eye Institute of West Florida.”
Dr. Weinstock says this is a common frustration among his patients. “I have tons of patients over the age of 40 who can’t stand relying on reading glasses. These are people who have enjoyed good vision their entire lives – distance, middle and near. Then they start to lose their ability to read like they used to. There hasn’t been a good solution for that until recently. The FDA approved what we call a corneal inlay, a simple procedure where I make a little flap on the cornea and then place the tiny Raindrop there to correct the vision,” Dr. Weinstock explains.
This procedure is a perfect bridge for people who have good distance vision and haven’t yet developed cataracts.
“Debbie hadn’t developed cataracts yet, but she relied on reading glasses for any close-up reading,” Dr. Weinstock continues, “She was a good candidate because she didn’t want to rely on reading glasses, didn’t need cataract surgery and her vision was good in the distance. After Raindrop, she could throw away all of the reading glasses she’d piled up over the years.”
The less than ten-minute procedure is performed in only one eye, your dominant eye. This balances out the vision and ensures distance vision will remain intact.
Debbie could hardly believe her eyes. “I am amazed at how such a short procedure could get me out of needing to use reading glasses,” she exclaimed, “I think anyone who may be considering this should take the time to consult with Dr. Weinstock. “
“It’s a major advancement within ophthalmology, and I’m excited to continue seeing amazing results with my patients,” says Dr. Weinstock.
Dr. Weinstock, along with his father and the founder of The Eye Institute of West Florida, Stephen Weinstock, MD, Neel Desai, MD and Steven Kane, MD lead the cataract and refractive surgery team at The Eye Institute. Aside from Raindrop, other vision correcting ways to get out of glasses include LASIK, monovision lens implant, refractive lens exchange and refractive cataract surgery with a premium intraocular lens. These outpatient procedures take five to ten minutes and patients are typically able to return to work and their normal daily activities the very next day.
With all the technological advances available to restore your vision, what do you have to lose, besides your glasses?
The Eye Institute of West Florida hosts free educational seminars throughout the year. Call us today to find out more!