New Treatment to Restore Near Vision Approved
FDA OKs NearVision CK for Presbyopia
WebMD News Archive
March 23, 2004 -- The FDA has approved a new treatment that may
make it easier for millions of baby boomers to read this article.
Yesterday, the agency approved the NearVision CK procedure for
the treatment of presbyopia. The minimally invasive treatment uses radio waves
to reshape the cornea and bring vision back into focus for aging eyes.
It's the first FDA-approved technology for the condition that
affects most people by age 40 and everyone by age 51. Researchers estimate that
90 million baby boomers either have presbyopia or will develop it in the next
The condition causes near vision to fade as the eye's lens
gradually hardens with age and makes it difficult to read things up close.
Sufferers typically hold things at arm's length to help focus items properly.
Many people with presbyopia must use reading or magnifying glasses to perform
simple tasks like reading a menu or newspaper.
New Treatment for Presbyopia
The NearVision CK procedure is performed using a probe thinner
than a human hair that releases radiofrequency energy into the eye. The radio
waves shrink areas of tissue to increase the curvature of the cornea and
restore near vision.
The procedure requires use of an eye-drop anesthesia and can be
performed in a few minutes in a doctor's office. It's typically performed in
only one eye to improve near vision without compromising distance vision.
The FDA based its approval on clinical trials that showed
NearVision CK significantly improved patients' near vision. Twelve months after
the procedure, 98% of patients could see magazine- and newspaper-size print in
the treated eye, and 87% could see 20/20 in the distance and also read
The procedure was previously approved in 2002 for age-related