By Adrian Galbreth
A new form of laser eye surgery to correct age-related sight problems is proving popular in Ireland since its introduction this year.
The new technique, known as Kamra, promises a lifelong solution to presbyopia, an age-related condition that affect people as they move into their 40s and beyond.
It involves placing a tiny disc with a pin hole in the middle of it over the cornea in the affected person, effectively working like a camera.
William Power, a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Blackrock Clinic, told the Irish Independent: "Say you're taking a photograph of a couple in front of you but you want the mountains behind them in focus as well, what you do is you narrow down the aperture, and that increases the range of the depth of focus. That's the simple principle, and the same applies to Kamra."
The disc is inserted into one eye only, the non-dominant eye, that is used for reading.
As well as offering a more permanent fix to the problem of presbyopia, the technique also offers less of a compromise when compared to other forms of laser eye surgery, according to Dr Arthur Cummings, a consultant ophthalmologist at the Wellington Eye Clinic and UPMC Beacon Hospital.
He explained that laser eye surgery achieves monovision, which makes one eye better for distance and the other more attuned to near sight, allowing he brain to make the correction.
However, this form of laser eye surgery can be difficult for people with perfect distance vision and poor near sight to deal with as it can adversely impact distance vision.
Dr Cummings explained that this makes Kamra an interesting option as placing the inlay into the reading eye improves it, while maintaining the level of distance sight.
The Kamra technique has been used in selected clinics across the EU for up to five years, but it is beginning to make an impact in Ireland since its introduction, with around 100 patients undergoing the procedure in recent months.
by Emily Tait