Contact Lens Implants Clear Myopia

Effective way to correct nearsightedness, study finds

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WEDNESDAY, Sept. 1, 2004 (HealthDayNews) -- Implantable contact lenses are a safe and effective way to correct moderate to high nearsightedness, says a study in the September issue of Ophthalmology.

The research was funded by STAAR Surgical of Monrovia, Calif., which has applied for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval to sell the STAAR myopic implant.

In this study, the STAAR myopic implant was put in 526 eyes of nearly 300 people with myopia ranging from -3.0 to -20.0 diopters. The implant was inserted through a tiny incision and placed in front of the eye's natural lens, the study said.

After three years, nearly 60 percent of the patients had 20/20 or better visual acuity and nearly 95 percent had 20/40 or better. Patient reports of symptoms such as double vision, glare halos or difficulty driving at night either decreased or remained unchanged.

Less than 1 percent of the patients said they were dissatisfied.

When compared with LASIK, the implant was more effective for people with higher degrees of myopia, the study said.

"While LASIK is the best surgical option for many patients, there can be more complications for patients with a higher range of myopia. Implantable contact lenses may be a good option for those patients," American Academy of Ophthalmology spokesman Dr. Peter Kastl, a professor of ophthalmology and adjunct professor of biochemistry at Tulane University in New Orleans, said in a prepared statement.

More information

The American Optometric Association has more about myopia.

SOURCE: American Academy of Ophthalmology, news release, Sept. 1, 2004

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