Do you have reading glasses on right now? If so, The Eye Institute of West Florida has a solution to alleviate the hassle of frequently asking yourself, “Where did I put my reading glasses?” The brand new, FDA approved Raindrop Near Vision Inlay, a procedure that corrects presbyopia, eliminating the need for reading glasses.
Presbyopia occurs as people reach their 40s. It’s part of the natural aging process, in which the eye’s natural lens gradually begins to harden, 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, announced that this revolutionary new procedure is now available exclusively in the Tampa Bay area at The Eye Institute. The implantable device reshapes the cornea and is designed to restore the natural range of near vision without compromising distance vision.
“The 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. It’s a major advancement within ophthalmology, and I’m excited to continue seeing amazing results with my patients.”
Dr. Weinstock was the first to perform the Raindrop Near Vision Inlay procedure at the Largo Ambulatory Surgery Center in The Eye Institute of West Florida. He performed two cases on Friday, November 30th; the first case was a 51-year-old female, the second, a 56-year-old male. Both patients were reading 20/20 or better the very next day.
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 adds.
The Raindrop also has another use that is currently in the clinical trial phase. Dr. Weinstock is the Director of Clinical Research at The Eye Institute and a Principal Investigator in the trial. “We already know this device works for patients with presbyopia. After years of clinical research and hundreds of success stories, the FDA approved the device. Now we are in the phase of implanting the Raindrop in patients who already had cataract surgery but still depend on their reading glasses to see close-up,” explains Dr. Weinstock.
The Eye Institute of West Florida is one of few practices in Florida participating in this clinical study, and the only site in the Tampa Bay area. Patients who participate in the clinical trial, at no cost, will enjoy the same benefits of the Raindrop as patients with presbyopia.
Dr. Weinstock continues, “The goal of the clinical trial is to show that this device has the ability to improve near vision, so patients who already had cataract surgery and don’t depend on glasses for distance or inter-mediate vision now have the chance to get out of their reading glasses as well. This will enable them to have a full range of vision without the need for glasses.”
There are parameters with the Raindrop, and patients must meet specific criteria to be a candidate for this procedure. “If a patient isn’t a good candidate for the Raindrop, our refractive cataract and LASIK team can recommend other near vision correction options,” Dr. Weinstock adds. “With the advancements and technology available today, it isn’t a one size fits all approach. We always recommend that patients come in and meet with us face to face, so we can get to know their lifestyle and vision goals and make a decision of what is best for them together.”
Dr. Weinstock along with his father and the founder of The Eye Institute of West Florida, Stephen Weinstock, MD and Neel Desai, MD lead the cataract and refractive surgery team at The Eye Institute. Aside from the 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 – for good?
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