Conductive Keratoplasty (CK)
Conductive keratoplasty is currently the only surgical procedure approved by the FDA for correction of presbyopia. Presbyopia is the age-related loss of the ability to change focus from far to near. Most people notice its onset between 40 and 45 years of age. Before the onset of presbyopia, the normal human lens can change shape as muscles inside the eye adjust, allowing continually adaptive focusing of the eye. As presbyopia develops and progresses, the flexibility of the lens and muscles diminishes, and reading glasses or bifocals become necessary for near viewing. CK may be an option if you have good distance vision without glasses or contact lenses, however experience difficulty with near tasks.
CK was initially approved for treatment of hyperopia (farsightedness) in 2002, and for presbyopia in 2004. It is generally considered a very safe, non-laser procedure. No cutting or removal of tissue is involved. CK uses a small probe, as thin as a human hair, to deliver radio frequency waves into the peripheral cornea. These radio waves create heat which gently shrinks small amounts of corneal collagen, producing steepening of the central cornea. The result is a nearer focal point for the treated eye.
CK creates a condition known as monovision. Monovision refers to the use of one eye for distance vision and the other for near vision. The eye treated with CK- usually the non-dominant eye- will become slightly nearsighted, and will lose some of its clarity at distance. In time, the brain normally leans to adapt and use the appropriate eye as necessary. It is strongly recommended, though, that monovision be attempted with contact lenses before the surgical option is pursued.