Public Release: 

Near vision research study

The Cornea and Laser Eye Institute, P.A.

Teaneck, NJ/ - November 3, 2009 - The Cornea and Laser Eye Institute is participating in a research study to determine if an investigational corneal inlay can safely and effectively reduce the need for reading glasses. Dr. Peter Hersh, the study doctor, will perform the procedures.

The investigational AcuFocus Corneal Inlay (ACI) is intended to improve near vision in patients with presbyopia, which is the loss of near vision, and reduce dependency on reading glasses. Qualified participants will receive the procedure at no charge.

Presbyopia, the loss of near vision happens when the eye's natural lens loses the ability to focus light from both far and near objects. As a result, near tasks like reading or computer work are blurry. However, it is possible for far objects to still be clear. Presbyopia is a natural occurrence that happens to most of us by age 45. Patients 45 to 60 years are eligible to participate.

Smaller than a contact lens, the ACI Corneal Inlay looks like a small brown ring. It is 5 microns thick and 3.8 mm across with a small hole in the center. Over 8,000 tiny holes throughout the ACI help maintain the health of the cornea. It is placed within the body of the cornea, directly in front of the pupil. The ACI lets the central rays of light continue on to the retina while blocking out some of the more out-of-focus rays. This is similar to the effect seen when one looks through a small pinhole. This increased focus may improve near vision. With the ACI placed in one eye, the depth of focus is anticipated to provide improved near and in-between vision while having little effect on far away vision.

"We are excited about this technology," said Dr. Hersh who has performed more than 15,000 laser and surgical vision correction procedures. "This procedure is very different from anything we've done with vision correction procedures before."

"We are very pleased to have Dr. Hersh and his research team involved in the leadership of this research study," said AcuFocus Chief Executive Officer, Ed Peterson. "They have established a great reputation for excellent patient care and for running very efficient studies while following protocols to the letter."

Anyone may benefit who is dependent upon reading glasses to see near objects. However, because this is a research study, benefits cannot be guaranteed.

Before beginning research procedures, participants must go through an informed consent process. Implanting the inlay is a surgical procedure that takes less than 15 minutes. After the procedure, participants will be required to return for scheduled follow-up examinations. Return visits will occur over a three-year period and participants will receive the procedure and all examinations at no charge.

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If you would like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Dr. Peter Hersh, please call Stacey Lazar at 201-883-0505 or email at slazar@vision-institute.com.

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