October 01, 2002
Radio waves to correct farsightedness

Some day in the future everyone will have perfect eyesight. Some Johns Hopkins scientists have just moved us closer to that day:

Surgeons at Johns Hopkins' Wilmer Eye Institute are now offering conductive keratoplasty, or CK, to correct low-level farsightedness in selected patients over age 40.

The procedure, approved in April by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, is the first non-laser treatment for hyperopia, a condition in which people can see objects far away but have trouble focusing on those nearby. It is an outpatient surgery performed under local anesthesia in just a few minutes.

Unlike laser treatments, which use light waves as an energy source, CK uses radiofrequency waves, a form of electromagnetic energy, to re-shape the peripheral cornea. The energy is similar in some respects to the microwaves that power CB radios and cell phones.

CK employs a pen-shaped instrument with a tip as thin as a human hair that releases the radiofrequency energy. The tip is applied in a circular pattern on the outer layer of the front of the eyeball to shrink small areas of tissue. The result is a constrictive band of tissue, similar to a tightened belt, that increases the overall curvature of the cornea.

"Nearly 95 percent of patients with low to moderate ranges of farsightedness achieve normal or near-normal vision after the procedure," says Terrence P. O'Brien, M.D., medical director of the Wilmer Laser Vision Center in Lutherville, Md.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2002 October 01 11:04 AM  Biotech Therapies

Cathy Naneus said at January 18, 2004 8:00 PM:

I have had Laser surgery on my right eye that has left me with shadows, light glare and starbirst that
make night vision very difficult. My left eye is a lazy eye that I opted not to have surgery performed
on.Would this new procedure be of benefit to my right eye?

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