01 May Kamra Inlay Fort Collins
Serving Patients in Colorado and Wyoming
If you are over 40 and having trouble reading without glasses, then the Kamra Inlay may be just the thing to help you regain the ability to read without glasses. Some are just fine with reading glasses, while others lead a more active lifestyle that is impacted by the hassles of glasses while others are bothered by the fact that reading glasses make them look older than they feel.
The Kamra procedure helps improve vision at all distance—far, intermediate, and near for most patients so they can read magazines, see the computer, check their smart phones, and see in the distance without glasses.
The implant has been in widespread use around the word for almost two decades and there have been thousands successfully implanted. I first began implanting the inlay four years ago as an investigator in the FDA trial and am pleased to announce it was officially FDA approved in April of 2015.
How Does the Kamra Work?
The Kamra Inlay is a small implant that is placed in your cornea to restore near vision without glasses. Once it is placed in the cornea, it works a bit like camera by improving your depth of focus. Let’s use this analogy of a camera to explain how it helps you read.
With a camera you can change the F-stop (the size of the aperture that lets light in). If you open up the aperture you have a narrow depth of focus. If you make it smaller, you have a long depth of focus.
Let’s say you have a magazine in your hands, but out the window you also have a beautiful view of the mountains (I do live in Colorado). If the F-stop on your camera is opened up wide, there is a small depth of focus so only the mountains would be clear, but the magazine would be out of focus and blurry. If the F stop (aperture) is closed down to a smaller size, the depth of focus would be much greater, meaning both the mountains AND the magazine would be in focus.
Your eye works in the same way. If your pupil opening is large, you would have a smaller depth of focus and would have a harder time reading. If your pupil opening is smaller, you would naturally have a larger depth of focus and would have less trouble reading without glasses than those around you. Alas, you are reading this and seriously considering the Kamra corneal inlay because you are not one of those born with small pupils.
The Kamra inlay has a small internal opening. When it is placed in your cornea, it acts like a small pupil opening to make both the mountains and the magazine in better focus for you without glasses.
Why did I loose my Ability to Read Without Glasses?
Two factors help with reading: 1. lens focus 2. depth of focus. These two work together to give reading without glasses when we were younger. If we have a lot of lens focus ability and not much depth of focus we would still be able to read. On the other hand, if w had a lot of depth of focus and not much lens focus we would also be able to read without glasses.
As we age, the lens inside our eyes becomes less flexible and we loose our lens focusing ability. The Kamra inlay works by increasing our depth of focus to make up for the loss of the lens focus.
The Day of My Kamra Procedure
The procedure only takes about twenty minutes. You are awake but pleasantly happy because of a relaxing pill we invite you to take.
A femtosecond laser is used to create a safe position for the inlay inside your cornea. This is the same laser that I use to make flaps for LASIK. In the FDA trial we learned that this part of the procedure is critical to the success of the inlay. The newer generation lasers make a smoother laser and better vision for patients. As a result, acufocus will only certify eye surgeons that use the most up to date laser technology like the IFS model we use. Surgeons with older technology like the 60Hz cannot use the inlay.
Someone will need to drive you home from the laser center that day.
Recovery after the Kamera Inlay
You will use several different eye drops after the procedure. One drop is an antibiotic to protect against infection. The second drop is an anti-inflammatory drop. And finally, most use artificial tears to speed healing and maximize comfort.
Most heal without the need for any stiches. The eye is often red, teary and irritated for the first few hours. Most nap when they get home because of the relaxing pill and sleep through those hours of potential irritation.
Kamra and LASIK
If you are just barely nearsighted, then you will only need to have the inlay placed. If you have significant prescriptive error, your procedure will take place in two stages. First, you would need to have LASIK performed to correct your nearsightedness or farsightedness. Then you would return a week or so later to have the Kamera Inlay placed later to add reading vision.
Will I Still Need Reading Glasses?
The main purpose of the procedure is to help you read without glasses and most achieve this goal. In one study, 93% with the Kamra could read newspapers, magazines, and text messages without glasses and 97% could see to read their computer screen and see the dashboard without intermediate glasses! Some can read in the first few days after the procedure while others gain their ability to read slowly over several months as the brain adjusts. It is helpful to force yourself to read as much as you can without glasses during this adjustment phase.
There are some that read just fine in reading light, but need readers in dim light and a very small percentage that don’t achieve functional reading and still need readers even in good light.
Side Effects of Kamra
During the healing phase most notice only mild irritation, tearing, dryness, and light sensitivity. In that sense, it feels about like healing from LASIK. You may notice glare and haloing with night driving. These symptoms fade for most though some experience nighttime symptoms longer term. The Inlay purposely decreases the number of light rays entering that eye to restore your reading. Some patients will be able to notice that light seems dimmer in the Kamra eye because of this. This difference is less noticeable with time in most.
How Long does the Kamra Last?
The Kamra inlay does not wear out. It gives long term help with your vision throughout your life once it is placed for most patients. It does not cause a cataract, but it also does not prevent you from getting the cataract that all senior citizens ultimately get. The Kamra inlay is not removed at the time of cataract surgery, but is left in place so that it can help you read without glasses even after the cataract removal.
The inlay provides lifelong benefits. Having said that, it is comforting to know that the inlay can be removed if you desire.
Kamra vision vs Mono Vision
Both Kamra vision and mono vision can provide both distance and near vision without glasses. In mono vision, one eye is set for distance and the other is set for near. This can be accomplished with either contact lenses or laser vision correction. Mono vision slightly decreases your stereovision and your depth perception. On the other hand, with Kamra vision, both eyes can see distance and the Kamra eye can read. With the inlay, the stereovision and depth perception are not decreased. Many patients appreciate the ability to see distance with both eyes. Your eye doctor can help you decide which approach is best for your lifestyle.
Can you See the Kamra Inlay in My Eye?
The inlay is the same color as your pupil so it is quite discreet and difficult for your friends to detect depending on the lighting, your eye color and your pupil size.
Will I feel the Kamra Inlay in my Eye?
A contact lens sits on the outside of our your eye and moves about so you can feel it. The Kamra inlay is in the cornea where it does not move and there have been no reports of a patient feeling the inlay. This is one of the great advantages of the procedure as compared to contact lens use.
Does Kamra affect my Peripheral Vision?
The inlay does not seem to affect peripheral vision.
I have worked with this inlay for years and have looked forward to the day of FDA approval, which has finally come. It is a surgery and so it is important to understand the risks, benefits and alternatives of the procedure before you decide if the Kamra Inlay is right for you. If you would like to learn more about decreasing your need for reading glasses, please schedule a time to meet with me at my office or post a comment.