LASIK is commonly performed to correct distance vision. The Raindrop corneal inlay is used to treat presbyopia, the age-related loss of near vision.
We frequently perform the two procedures (combination LASIK + Raindrop) during the same surgery to correct both distance and near vision in our patients who are good candidates.
LASIK (laser vision correction – LVC) involves the creation of a corneal flap to allow the laser to reshape the underlying cornea. LASIK is the mainstay of laser vision correction and can be used to correct myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness) and astigmatism.
After the cornea is reshaped with the laser, the protective corneal flap is replaced back into its normal position.
Both eyes are usually treated at the same time. Because the shape of the cornea constitutes the strongest focusing power of the eye, vision is often immediately improved.
The Raindrop corneal inlay is used to treat near vision loss from presbyopia.
Similar to laser vision correction, a LASIK-like flap is created under which the corneal inlay is placed. Once centered, the flap is replaced and healing begins.
The Raindrop corneal inlay is typically placed in the non-dominant eye and has little effect on the distance vision of that eye. Near vision is improved due to the subtle change in the curvature of the corneal surface.
Combined LASIK and Raindrop
Patients who are interested in improving their near and distance vision, and not interested in monovision, may consider having LVC and Raindrop in combination.
Both procedures may be performed with the convenience of one operation and using the same corneal flap. Many of our patients, over 40 and with presbyopia, choose to have both procedures at the same time.
Better than Monovision
Monovision has been often used to allow some patients to read without glasses. A contact lens is often used to one eye for distance and a second lens corrects the other for reading.
One eye sees for distance and the other for near.
Raindrop has some advantages over monovision: there is a broader range of focus with Raindrop compared to a fixed distance contact lens, and as Raindrop has minimal effect on distance vision, both eyes function together for distance vision.