Ming Wang, M.D. LASIK and Cataract Surgeon in Nashville, Tennessee, Click to learn more about Dr. Ming Wang
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Harvard & MIT
(MD, magna cum laude);
PhD (laser physics)
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Surgical implant helps avoid midlife eye issue

Tom Wilemon,

A new procedure lets people bypass the bifocal benchmark for middle age and stop having to search for reading glasses.

(Photo: Samuel M. Simpkins / The Tennessean)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration this year approved a cornea implant that gives people with age-related nearsightedness the ability to focus on small print and smart phone content. It's a tiny pinhole that works similar to the aperture of a camera. This is the first time the FDA has approved a surgical fix for presbyopia, the condition where the lenses of the eyes become increasingly rigid with age, sending people returning to bins of reading glasses for ever stronger magnifications. Danny Hughes of Arab, Ala., talks before eye surgery to get a KAMRA inlay.

But freeing your face from frames comes with a price. It costs $6,000 -- more if a patient also gets a Lasik procedure as an option for ditching bifocals. People have been driving more than 100 miles to Nashville to get the implant since Dr. Ming Wang began offering the KAMRA inlay in April. The device is made by California-based AcuFocus Inc.

Danny Hughes drove up from Arab, Ala., one Friday morning and was able to drive back home after getting a KAMRA inlay. The implant is inserted into the cornea over the lens of just one eye. The dominant eye, the one that people use for driving or sports activities, isn't involved. He said he was tired of dealing with multifocal contact lens.

But it does take a period of adjustment to become accustomed to fully utilizing the inlay.

Robin Farrar, a physical education teacher from Lynnville, Tenn., said she's happy with the results.

"I was so sick of the eyeglasses," she said. "They were constantly falling off and I was having to pick them up. Now, I can look at my watch; I can read my phone."

A viable surgical solution for presbyopia had been evasive, Wang said.

The FDA and researchers have been on this problem for the last few decades in tacking this holy grail of ophthalmology, this last frontier," Wang said. The FDA reviewed the results of three clinical studies before approving the procedure. The results of the main study indicated that 83.5 percent of people who had the surgery scored 20/40 or better a year later on vision tests -- an acuity enabling them to read most text in magazines and newspapers.

The procedure may cause unintended consequences, the FDA said, including glare, night vision problems and blurry vision. There is also the potential for surgical complications. It is not intended for people who have had cataract surgery or those with severe dry eye problems, uncontrolled diabetes and other vision-related diseases.


Click here to view the pdf copy of this report.

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Dr. Ming Wang, Eye Surgeon, provides laser vision correction, 3D LASIK, laser cataract and many advanced laser eye surgeries to patients in the Nashville, TN area
and all over the US and world. Dr. Wang's celebrity LASIK patients:  Dolly Parton, Charlie Daniels, Kenny Chesney, 3 Doors Down, Naomi Judd, and more...

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