Scientists have developed a new implant to treat the age-related decline in vision that often leads to reading glasses.
A study at Linkoping University in Sweden and reported in the journal Cornea, found that the implant improved the participants’ vision.
The implant is inserted into the centre of the cornea — the clear dome-shaped, outermost layer of the eye — to plump it up and improve focus for near vision.
It is made of synthetic collagen, which resembles corneal tissue. More than 100 patients are taking part in a trial of the implant to treat presbyopia, the progressive loss of the ability to see objects that are near.
In the study, at Gemini Eye Clinics in Austria, the participants will be monitored for a year after having the implant. Presbyopia is caused by a hardening of the lens, a clear structure measuring 10 mm by 4 mm, which sits behind the cornea.
The new approach is less invasive, the implant can be inserted within a minute, and is reversible (this may be important if eyesight continues to deteriorate).