SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH. (KFSN) --It happens to most of us; maybe it's happened to you: reading a menu or a text gets a little harder. Your near-vision quality goes down as your age goes up. It's called presbyopia. Now a groundbreaking corneal inlay called KAMRA is bringing everything back into focus for a growing number of people in the U.S.
Fifty-one-year-old James "CJ" Collier has been a professional race car driver for fifteen years.
As he got older, he started losing his close-range vision.
Collier explained, "Losing that vision meant that oscillating between the gauges and the road would become more difficult and more time-consuming to make decisions and in racing, that's unacceptable."
Collier chose a KAMRA inlay to fix his near vision. It is placed over his pupil.
Michael B. Wilcox, M.D., an eye surgeon in Bountiful, Utah, told Ivanhoe,
"It's less than four millimeters in diameter, so it's smaller than a contact lens. It's not very thick at all. It's thinner than a red blood cell."
Dr. Wilcox makes a pocket in the cornea with a laser, inserts the KAMRA inlay, and sponges it into place in about ten minutes. No stitches required.
"We do surgery on Friday and by the end of the weekend, a lot of patients can pull out their cellphones and they can actually read their phone again, which they haven't been able to do for a long time," said Dr. Wilcox.
Collier said there was no pain or discomfort, besides being skittish over someone working on his eye. His vision was better the next day.
Collier said, "It was instantaneous. It was really kind of exciting because I was reaching for my glasses and realized I didn't need them."
Collier is back in the driver's seat with confidence and clear vision. He says his sunglasses are the only glasses he wears now.
The KAMRA inlay goes in just one eye. Dr. Wilcox said it doesn't affect distance vision, and sometimes actually improves it. The procedure costs $4,000-$6,000, depending on where you live. Unfortunately, it most likely won't be covered by insurance.
For more information on this report, please contact:
Utah Eye Centers