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Cornell Conducts OptoVision Trials
Feb 2003
ORLANDO, Fla., Feb. 24 -- SurgiLight Inc., which develops laser systems for ophthalmic applications, said clinical trials of its OptiVision technology have shown promising early results for the reversal and treatment of presbyopia, a progressive stiffening of the eye's lens that occurs with aging and compromises an individual's near vision or ability to read without glasses.

The trials were conducted at New York-Presbyterian Hospital Weill Cornell Medical Center, the first facility in the New York City area to offer the new treatment.

According to Sandra Belmont, M.D., the trial's principal investigator and associate professor of clinical ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medical College, "Everyone over the age of 50 could potentially benefit from this new high-tech treatment."

The procedure, which takes about 30 minutes per eye, involves eight tiny laser incisions in the sclera, the white of the eye. This allows the lens to expand and enables the eye to focus at different distances.

"Within an hour," Belmont said, "patients are able to read without glasses." She said one patient entered the trial with 20/70 vision; after a month, the patient's vision is now 20/20.

Previously, the only available treatment for presbyopia was so-called monovision correction, achieved either by wearing contact lenses or undergoing LASIK surgery. The most common laser vision procedure, LASIK treats the cornea to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Monovision correction corrects one eye for distance and the other for close vision, but may decrease depth perception in some patients, Belmont said.

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