Modern Eye Care: The future is here!
In my previous contributions and those of my colleagues, the importance of a proactive approach to eye care has been stressed many times over. The prevalence of chronic diseases has increased the incidence of preventable blindness, primarily because our population presents with the problems at their late stages when prognosis or outlook is poor. Before going into what technology now has to offer in the line of boutique eye care services, let me reiterate the importance of regular vision care testing for ALL DIABETICS, HYPERTENSIVES, persons with ELEVATED LIPID LEVES, and FAMILY HISTORY OF BLINDNESS among others. Popping into a centre for a quick free eye test does not qualify! Visit an Ophthalmologist (medical doctor specializing in eye diseases) or an Optometrist (doctor trained to perform comprehensive eye exam and detect sight threatening problems needing referral to an Ophthalmologist). Remember, glasses or contact lenses can only work if the mechanism for vision is healthy! Free eye tests while sounding like a good deal, do not deliver the comprehensive evaluation we need……..at least annually.
Now for the icing on the cake; concierge services such as LASIK, specialized contact lenses for hard-to correct refractive errors of extreme myopia, astigmatism and Keratoconus are available right here in Jamaica! But it gets better. Cataract surgery has been in some centres re-named Phaco-refractive surgery. Implants are now available to not only replace the hazy lens of the aging or otherwise damaged lens of the eye, but correct the vision including near and intermediate (computer for eg.). Astigmatism in such cases can be corrected with multifocal toric implants. The technology to fine tune any residual correction using laser vision correction is also available, making vision correction after cataract removal precise. This detailed corrective approach may be taken in persons who qualify, as there are exclusions such as Glaucoma and uncontrolled diabetes.
Presbyopia is that annoying condition most 40 year old and over face where being able to read smaller prints on paper, phone or computer becomes a challenge, the type size that makes a menu choice difficult without light or readers (yes ladies…..and betray your true age). For ten years researchers have been refining and testing devices and procedures to solve this problem, with Scleral Implant, Raindrop Insert, and Pin-hole devices. My pick of the lot is KAMRA, a corneal inlay that is placed in a pocket created by FEMTO-laser in the person’s non-dominant eye. Our dominant eye unknowing to most is the eye we preferentially use to focus on distant objects. The KAMRA device uses pinhole principle to allow for clear near and intermediate vision while maintaining distance vision, depth of focus, and normal field of vision. KAMRA does not interfere significantly with the doctor’s ability to view, image or treat the retina when needed, and the procedure is reversible (should the unlikely need to remove it arise). This presents a PERMANENT solution to Presbyopia, eliminating the necessity to have to wear glasses again!
As with every medical or surgical treatment there are contraindications (situations where the procedure is not advisable), and adverse effects (possible side effects which may or may not apply to you). Also with these concierge vision care alternatives, expectations must be managed, as we rather under-promise and over deliver. The over-expectant, picky, and demanding patient (happily the minority) is usually excluded or cautioned. Call or visit us at Ophthalmic Suites to learn more about vision freedom without age limits, and remember preventive eye care is the best cure.
Dr. Maynard McIntosh (Ophthalmologist)
Suite 7b, 34 Lady Musgrave Road, Kgn 5
Tel (876) 630-0958/864