Raindrop Corneal Inlay

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Reading Vision Correction
Raindrop Corneal Inlay

Reading Vision Correction

Raindrop Corneal Inlay


Dr. Mark Whitten is the first and only surgeon in the Washington, D.C. and Richmond, VA areas to perform this revolutionary procedure to improve your reading vision!  Whitten Laser Eye, in association with Dr. Shilpa Rose and Eye Associates of Washington, D.C., is one of the first medical centers in the country to perform the Raindrop procedure.

If you are entering your 40’s and 50’s, then you might already be experiencing a decline in your near vision. Symptoms of such vision loss could be having to hold the phone at arms length to focus on the words. Or having difficulty seeing small text up close. If you are experiencing similar symptoms, then you may have a common condition called presbyopia or near vision loss. A Corneal Inlay may be perfect for you!


Learn more about the Raindrop Inlay!

Click the videos to see Dr. Mark Whitten and Dr. Shilpa Rose interviewed by Barbara Harrison, News Anchor with NBC4 in Washington, D.C.


What is the Raindrop® Near Vision Inlay

The Raindrop® Near Vision Inlay is FDA-approved to reduce or eliminate your need for reading glasses.  The Raindrop® is a very tiny (about 2mm) transparent disk inserted within the layers of the cornea. The inlay is thinner than a piece of paper and is about the diameter of a pinhead. It is made up of about 80% water and the material is very similar to the material used to make contact lenses. The Raindrop® inlay is placed beneath the surface of the eye and helps to reshape the cornea. The inlay is only placed in one eye to allow near and far vision for the user.

The surface of your cornea is responsible for most of the focusing power of your eye.  Subtle changes in the shape or curvature of the corneal surface can result in calculated changes in your focusing power.  This is the basis of all refractive vision procedures, including corneal inlays.

A corneal inlay sits in the first few layers of the eye known as the cornea. Smaller and thinner than a contact lens, the inlay is a mini-ring with an opening in the center. By using this pinhole effect, the inlay focuses light coming into your eye. This restores near vision while maintaining your distance vision. The corneal inlay is an in-office procedure and generally performed on one eye, generally the non-dominant eye. It takes about 15 minutes and most people can read better within a day.

During your Reading Vision Consultation, you can ‘try on’ the procedure with a special contact lens which will demonstrate how Raindrop would work for you!

The Procedure

The procedure is simple and takes about 10 minutes from start to finish. The whole process begins in our office with our surgeon administering numbing drops in your eye to eliminate the possibility of discomfort. Then a small incision is made in the first few layers of the cornea. After, the Raindrop® is carefully positioned under the few layers of cornea. Once the inlay is safely positioned, the incision is smoothed over by the surgeon. This entire process doesn’t require any stitches. After the smoothing is performed, the surgery is over!


The Recovery Process

Recovery after the Raindrop® inlay procedure is quite easy, and after a few days, most people are able to return to work. Vision fluctuation may occur as the patient’s eyes need to adjust and learn to work together. However, most people will see better results within one to two weeks after the procedure. There will be medicated eye drops prescribed and these should be followed as directed. Also refrain from any activities that may cause injury or trauma to your eye.

What is Presbyopia?

An age related issue, presbyopia is a refractive error that commonly occurs in middle aged people. In a normal eye, the natural lens of the eye focuses light onto the retina. This lens is able to flex and accommodate for near vision, however, as we age, this lens loses it’s elasticity and becomes less flexible. If this occurs, then the eye is no longer able to focus quickly between the foreground and the background, or near and close objects. This blurry vision, or near vision loss, is called presbyopia (prez-bee-OH-peeah), and it eventually happens to everyone.

Vision With Presbyopia
Vision With Presbyopia
Vision After Inlay Procedure
Vision After the Corneal Inlay Procedure

Presbyopia treatment usually begins with the affected person getting reading glasses to help with their visual impairment. These reading glasses are then used frequently for, reading text, looking at labels for their favorite books, or reading small print.


Let the people of our region know about your experience at Whitten Laser Eye. It only takes a moment to review us online!