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FDA sees its way clear to okay another risky and needless corneal inlay

They fall off your face, they’re easy to lose, and every year or so, you seem to need a stronger pair.

There’s no doubt about it — life with reading glasses can be annoying.

But are they such an annoyance that you’d be willing to risk excruciating eye pain, infections and even a detached retina to be rid of them?

Believe it or not, that’s the very offer that could be coming your way, thanks to the Raindrop Near Vision Inlay.

It’s a device just approved by the FDA to “cure” a common eye condition known as presbyopia — where you have to hold things farther and farther away to read them.

But for lots of aging Boomers, this new eye apparatus could be a disaster waiting to happen.

The great eye experiment

Buying into the latest technology can be fun when you get a new laptop or phone.

But not so much when you’re talking about your eyes.

Especially when that involves cutting a flap into your cornea and placing — in perfect position — an itsy bitsy device that an expert compares to “a little piece of Saran Wrap.”

The whole idea of these corneal inlays to fix presbyopia has been tinkered with for over 50 years.

And despite the fact that the early experiments weren’t turning out so great, researchers forged ahead. After all, with millions of prospective patients out there, there was a literal pot of gold at the end of that presbyopia rainbow!

Now, we’ve got the Raindrop Near Vision Inlay. And it’s been tested in all of 373 people. But since the FDA gave ReVision Optics, the company that makes the device, the green light to sell it last week, soon the real experiment will be starting up on millions.

Despite the paltry number of people the device has been tested on, the FDA already has a handle on what can go wrong, which includes:

  • Developing an infection, worsened glare, halos, or feeling like there’s something stuck in your eye.
  • Decreasing your distance vision (myopia), which could affect your ability to perform important tasks like driving a car.
  • Causing corneal scarring, swelling, clouding, “melting,” or even a detached retina.

The FDA also warns that you may need another operation to fix your eye if tissue starts to “grow into the cornea,” or more surgery to have the device removed.

And that sounds a lot like the first one of these devices the FDA allowed on the market, the KAMRA inlay.

Last year I told you how people were begging to get them removed so they could go back to their reading glasses. The KAMRA inlay, like the new Raindrop device, can also make your vision worse, cause dry eye, give you halos and cloudy vision.

Even a spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology said that while we all would love to throw away our reading glasses, to remember that all eye surgeries have a risk of “complications or side effects.”

And that’s something ReVision Optics probably prefers didn’t cross your mind. The company is now recruiting people for the second phase of its billion-dollar plan to implant the device in the eyes of people who have had cataract surgery (which is currently not allowed by the FDA).

Look, most of us who have presbyopia can fix it with a cheap pair of reading glasses that can be found just about anywhere.

And that sure beats risking any of the side effects that could come along with Raindrop, KAMRA, or any other similar device that the FDA unleashes on an unsuspecting public.

“Eye implant approved for aging boomers” HealthDay, July 1, 2016,