I can already feel it starting to happen: my arms are getting shorter.
Just the other day, I was trying to read the teeny-tiny print on the back of a medicine bottle when I realized that I could not hold the bottle far enough away to be able to read the instructions. Clearly, my arms have shrunk.
I suppose the other alternative is that my eyesight is starting to go, a phenomenon that happens to many of adults once they turn the corner on 40. Not all of my eyesight has been affected — I can still spot a smudge of dirt on my kitchen wall from two rooms away. It's when things get a little closer that my vision gets blurry.
According to experts, one in five adults need help seeing things close up as they age due to a condition called presbyopia, which is when the lens inside the eye starts to harden and is no longer able to focus on nearby objects. In the past, this condition has been fixed with a pair of reading glasses. But reading glasses get lost or broken and are never when and where you need them. Soon those glasses might be replaced with corneal implants that improve the ability of the eye to focus.
First, the good news: corneal implant surgery is less complicated and invasive than the laser eye surgery used to help people correct distance vision. And the results of implanting the corneal inlay, called KAMRA, are immediate, restoring near-vision right away.
But there is some bad news. Data from a clinical trial found that 83 percent of patients reported visual acuity of 20/40 after KAMRA implants, and that's so-so at best. But those numbers also don't include the 44 patients who dropped out of the study and had the implants removed. Almost 87 percent of these participants said the implants did not improve their vision. Adding these participants to the total brings the overall efficacy rate of KAMRA implants down to 76 percent.
FDA approval for the implants is still pending, so you have some time to do your own research and talk with your health care provider to see if this would be a good avenue for you.
As for me, I'll stick with the outstretched arms for just a little longer. And then when all else fails, I'll buy some reading glasses.
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