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Presbyopia

(3/4/16)- Visual acuity refers to how sharp or clear a personís vision is. Impaired visual acuity refers to vision that is blurry, distorted, or otherwise not normal.

Common causes of impaired visual acuity include refractive error (nearsightedness or farsightedness), cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration (loss of the center of the field of vision), and presbyopia (farsightedness that occurs with aging). Vision impairment due to cataracts, presbyopia, and age-related macular degeneration is common in older adults.

The March 1, 2016, issue of JAMA contains the updated USPSTF recommendations on screening for impaired visual acuity in older adults.

(4/18/04)-Refractec Inc. announced that it had received approval from the FDA to market its treatment for presbyopia, the close-vision problem that afflicts nearly everyone by age 50. Refractec is a closely held 10-year old company headquartered in Irvine, California. The company estimates that 90 million baby boomers either have the condition or will develop it over the next 10 years.

The condition results from the hardening of the eye's lens with advancing age. Two years ago the company won permission from the FDA to market its treatment for farsightedness, or hyperopia, a less common condition that also afflicts the older population.

The procedure is known as conductive keratoplasty or CK. It costs between $1,500 to $2,000 per eye. It usually is performed on only one eye, so as to restore close up vision without compromising distance vision. The condition results from hardening of the eye's lens with advancing age. That is why you see so many older people use a reading glass to check on a restaurant menu or newspaper. The procedure usually takes place in the physician's office and is performed in just a few minutes.

The FDA relied on studies of over 30,000 procedures that have been performed over the last 5 years without any safety problems. Daniel S. Durrie, a refractive surgeon was the lead investigator of the study. Dr. Durrie is a paid consultant to Refractec.

The procedure involves the usage of a probe thinner than a human hair that releases radio-frequency energy. The radio waves are applied in a circular pattern to shrink small areas of corneal tissue. In effect the treatment increases the curvature in the cornea and thus brings near vision back into focus.

Refractec received permission from the FDA to market CK for farsightedness, or hyperopia two years ago. Once a procedure is approved for a specific purpose, physicians are allowed to use it for "off label" purposes, which is similar to what happens when a drug is approved by the FDA.

 

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Allan Rubin and Harold Rubin
March 4, 2016

http://www.therubins.com

To email: hrubin12@nyc.rr.com or allanrubin4@gmail.com

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