No More Reading Glasses? A Look At The KAMRA Inlay

In April 2015 the FDA approved the KAMRA inlay for use in the United States.  Since then, this surgical option for helping to improve a patient's near vision has been gaining popularity by Ophthalmologists and Optometrists looking to offer their patients a safe surgical option to help with their near vision.

What Is The KAMRA Inlay

The KAMRA Inlay is a 3.8 mm thin ring that is implanted under the surface of the cornea of your eye.  The ring is inserted into the patient's non-dominant, or near eye, and has a 1.6 mm opening in the middle that the patient will look through.

How Does The KAMRA Inlay Work

The KAMRA Inlay is placed just under the surface of the cornea. Photo by  Jay Pepose, MD

The KAMRA Inlay is placed just under the surface of the cornea. Photo by Jay Pepose, MD

The device works on the principle of a pinhole effect.  When a patient looks through a pinhole, or in this case the 1.6 mm opening in the ring, they get greater depth of focus and clarity because the opaque portion of the ring will block unfocused light rays that cause blur.  Whatever the patient is looking at will be in focus because only those light rays will enter the eye.

The KAMRA Inlay is inserted under the surface of the cornea using a femtosecond-created pocket at 200 µm.  It is imperative that the surgeon centers the device perfectly on optical axis.

The eye with the KAMRA Inlay will be able to have greater depth of focus allowing the patient to maintain distance vision and offering more near vision than before the surgery.  Unlike monovision, working with the other eye the KAMRA Inlay should provide the patient with improved near vision without compromising the patient's distance clarity. 

According the FDA study, they showed that 83% of the 478 participants achieved near vision of 20/40 or better without the need for correction.

The Ideal KAMRA Inlay Candidate

This new surgical option is not for everyone.  According to AcuFocus, they note a patient is a good candidate for the KAMRA Inlay if:

  • Are between the ages of 45 and 60
  • Having trouble with near visual demands
  • Need reading glasses, but can see far objects fine
  • Are in good health
  • No history of eye conditions such as; Dry Eyes, Glaucoma, Keratoconus, and others

Other candidate factors include a low distance prescription.  Typically, the ideal distance prescription should be between -0.75 to +0.50.  However, many eye surgeons are combining the KAMRA Inlay procedure with LASIK which allows for a lot broader range of candidates.

KAMRA Inlay Results and Expectations

While the results of the KAMRA Inlay have been good, it is important that patients understand the expectations regarding this surgical option.  On the KAMRA website they do a good job of setting expectations at the bottom of every page with their summary of important information.

  • The KAMRA Inlay may not eliminate the need for reading glasses
  • The KAMRA Inlay may cause blurred vision, difficulties with contrast, glare, color, and difficulty with night vision.
  • There is a risk of infection, swelling, thinning, or inflammation of the cornea.