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|