In the first and second part of our series on presbyopia, we talked about causes of the condition and available treatment options. Today, our own Michael Gordon, MD and Dr. David Schanzlin discuss clinical trials they are currently working on that involve state-of-the-art potential treatment techniques for presbyopia.
Refocus VisAbility™ Implant System Study
Dr. David Schanzlin: I’m currently working on a potential presbyopia treatment option with a company called Refocus. With this treatment, the VisAbility™ Implant System, we are trying to restore the lens’ ability to change its shape and to focus. It involves the placement of small inserts into the whites of the eyes which can help the ligaments stretch again [after becoming lax due to presbyopia]. This may ultimately restore the movement of the lens and the ability to focus. In this procedure, you don’t lose any depth perception when an object is brought close to you.
The Refocus VisAbility™ Implant System is still being studied as a potential presbyopia treatment, so it is not yet available; however, this study and others currently underway are indicative of major steps being taken to offer patients new options for this most common condition.
Presbia Flexivue Microlens™ Study
Dr. Michael Gordon: The goal of the Presbia study is to make sure the product is truly safe and effective for correcting presbyopia. The Presbia Flexivue Microlens™ treatment currently under clinical trial involves the insertion of a 3-millimeter, very thin lens into a corneal pocket created with a laser. The beauty of this lens is that it’s extremely well-tolerated by the eye – it’s a material that has been used for decades. You can change the [focusing] power of the lens – in other words, you can give it a power that’s dependent on what the patient actually needs as opposed to a one-power-fits-all solution. And, it’s something that is removable and exchangeable. If you don’t like it for some reason, it can be taken out and vision will go back to the way it was. Another benefit of this treatment being reversible is the fact that, if the lens was placed in a 45-year-old individual, that individual may find several years down the road that the power of the original lens is no longer adequate to enhance near-vision. You can actually then take the lens out and put in a different power lens years later. From the standpoint of reversibility, exchangeability, and safety, it has everything you would want in a device or a product. Early results of the clinical trials are extremely promising.
Contact Gordon Schanzlin New Vision Institute
We hope you have found our series on presbyopia, one of the most common vision conditions afflicting people over the age of 40, informational and enlightening. If you would like more information on presbyopia, or if you would like to schedule an eye exam, please contact us today.