How the Bates Method Can Help You Retrain Your Eyes to See More Clearly Again

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Laser Surgery for Far-Sightedness to Make History

LONDON – Conventionally, laser surgery tackles shortsightedness, but doctors are now using laser treatment to restore 20/20 vision in those suffering from long-sightedness too.

By the age of 50, most adults find they can’t read a menu, book or newspaper without holding it at arm’s length.

The deterioration results from the stiffening of the eye’s lens, which makes zooming in on close objects more difficult.

The latest research, from three laboratories in Europe and the U.S., could lead to new techniques to cure the problem.

The technique, which could cost around 4,000 pounds, involves using lasers to re-engineer the eyeball, either by cutting slits, into which tiny lenses can be inserted, or by altering the shape of its outer layer.

In one study the researchers used lasers to make tiny slits in the cornea, the transparent outermost layer of the eye, which, along with the lens, is key to focusing.

They then inserted a corneal inlay – a tiny doughnut-shaped black ring with a pin-sized hole at the centre for the light to pass through. This made it easier for light to focus on the retina at the back of the eye, making close vision sharper.

In another study, Greek researchers cut tiny pockets in the corneas of 15 patients and inserted powerful magnifying lenses.

“Ninety eight per cent of patients were satisfied with their vision; 69 per cent reported “excellent” and 30 per cent “good” near vision,” The Daily Mail quoted Dr Ioannis Pallikaris as saying.

Dr Mike Holzer, of the University of Heidelberg added. “The procedure is painless and because no tissue is removed the risk of infection is extremely low.”

David Allamby, one of the few British eye doctors already using lasers to correct presbyopia, welcomed the results, but warned none of the techniques is perfect.