People living with presbyopia will benefit from the launch of Australia’s first laser eye treatment that significantly improves near vision with a minimally invasive procedure performed in as little as 20 seconds.
The groundbreaking Intracor procedure, or “intrastromal correction of presbyopia”, uses the Technolas Femtosecond Workstation laser technology to reshape the cornea without damaging the outer layers of the eye. The result is superior healing and minimal-to-no risk of infection, with a noticeable improvement in near vision just one day post-procedure.
The Technolas laser unit has been approved by the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA) and according to the manufacturer, the plastic patient interface device used in the procedure was TGA-approved in June this year.
“Until recently, the only treatments available for presbyopia were reading glasses, contact lenses or invasive laser eye correction surgery, which typically involved special lenses being permanently implanted in the eye,” said refractive, corneal and cataract surgeon Dr. Kerrie Meades, from the Personaleyes corrective eye surgery group in Sydney.
Until recently, the only treatments available for presbyopia were reading glasses, contact lenses or invasive laser eye correction surgery, which typically involved special lenses being permanently implanted in the eye
“Unlike conventional laser eye correction, this procedure is minimally invasive, and maintains the natural shape of the eye. The result is a more personalised and accurate treatment, with minimal-to-no risk of infection.
“Almost anyone who has vision impairment from presbyopia can reduce or eliminate their dependence on glasses. This is the first time this level of visual independence has been achieved without invasive surgery. This technology offers people with presbyopia the opportunity to read magazines, newspapers, menus, and text messages without reaching for their glasses.”
The company behind the laser unit says the Intracor procedure is suitable for adult patients with presbyopia seeking to improve their near vision and reduce their reliance on glasses or contact lenses. The procedure lasts only 20 seconds, effectively minimising patient discomfort. In addition, the process is personalised to each individual eye due to the use of microscopic precision lasers, optimising the outcome for each individual patient.
The non-surgical procedure involves delivering a laser beam directly into the stroma (deeper layer of the cornea), where gas bubbles are formed into consecutive rings without violating the outer layers (epithelium and Bowman’s layer) of the cornea. As the pattern of applied laser depends on the individual visual error of each eye, the procedure is customised, not only improving uncorrected near vision, but maintaining and potentially improving the patient’s distance vision. The gas bubbles, which initially form in the cornea, dissipate within two-to-three hours post surgery.
The results of the procedure are immediately effective and patients can usually return to their normal activities within a few hours.
Dr. Chandra Bala, a cataract, a corneal and general ophthalmology specialist, also from the Personaleyes group, said the new technology significantly minimises the risks and side effects of refractive surgery.
“We now have the ability to focus the treatment directly into the stroma (deeper layer of the cornea) without cutting into sensitive corneal tissue. In addition, this intrastromal correction does not require removal of the epithelium (outer protective layer of the eye), effectively maintaining the structural integrity of the cornea,” Dr. Bala said.
“Because no tissue is being removed or damaged, the risks and side-effects are significantly minimised, meaning near vision can be corrected without compromising the patient’s distance vision,” he said.