Irvine, Calif. – October 3, 2017 – Ten years ago as people were standing in line for the first iPhone while reading the last Harry Potter book, Dr. Corina van de Pol was about to begin a decade of great vision with the KAMRA inlay. Specifically designed for those with presbyopia or blurry reading vision, the KAMRA inlay helps restore near vision and reduce the constant frustrations of reading glasses. Today marks the day of her 10-year anniversary with the inlay and ten years of being glasses-free. Dr. van de Pol and AcuFocus, the manufacturer of the KAMRA inlay, are continuing to celebrate the ophthalmic breakthrough for people 45 to 60 who are looking to reduce their need for reading glasses and regain a continuous, uninterrupted range of vision from near to far.
Now a Professor of Optometry at Marshall B. Ketchum University’s Southern California College of Optometry and a renowned Clinical Researcher, Dr. van de Pol remembers why she decided the KAMRA inlay was right for her.
“I ended up with a pair of progressives because I really hated just using a pair of reading glasses,” said Dr. Van de Pol. “You would look up across the room, and everything’s fuzzy. I wanted a pair of glasses that I could see the computer screen, if somebody came in my office I could look up past the computer, and I could see them okay. Or, if I was in a meeting I could read my notes, and I could also see what was on the screen. What I found was that progressive glasses are good, except when I forgot them or misplaced them.”
In 2007, Dr. Van de Pol was experiencing the symptoms of presbyopia including difficulty seeing close up. She didn’t have any issues with her distance vision. At the time, Dr. Van de Pol was the Clinical Director at AcuFocus, and she started to understand on a personal level what presbyopic patients who joined those early KAMRA inlay clinical trials were experiencing.
Presbyopia affects 114 million Americans each year. It typically becomes evident in the mid-40s as the natural lens of the eye that flexes and focuses light and allows people to see near, gradually becomes stiff. As the first FDA approved corneal inlay, the KAMRA inlay focuses light onto the back of the eye while providing a natural range of vision – from near to far – without blurry zones. This tiny mini-ring, smaller than a contact lens, is placed in only one eye by an ophthalmologist to help restore reading vision.
A decade later, Dr. Van de Pol’s busy schedule ranges from teaching and training future optometrists, where lectures may include how the small aperture concept translated into the development of the KAMRA inlay, to consulting on next-generation optics research for companies, including AcuFocus.
While she sees many benefits to having the KAMRA inlay, she finds it is particularly important when she travels on volunteer mission trips for Lions International and its local California and Nevada Lions in Sight chapter. “I’ve been involved with the Lions essentially since graduating from optometry school, so more than 27 years. Through the organization, my optometry colleagues and I go to different countries six to seven times a year to provide basic eye care and eyeglasses to people in need. I’ve gone on close to a hundred missions to different countries including Panama, Peru, Brazil, Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Ukraine, India, Nepal, and Ghana and have seen more than 45,000 patients.”
“One of the moments I noticed how important my KAMRA inlay was to me was on a Lions trip. I examined the patient and wrote the information down on a form, and passed it on to my colleague. And, she’s putting her reading glasses down on the table to see the patient and then she picks them up to write their information down. All during the exam, she picks them up, and she puts them down. I was watching her thinking, ‘Wow, she’s got to be frustrated.’ And, she was frustrated, because every time she wanted to write something down, she had to put her glasses on again.”
AcuFocus, Inc. is a privately held ophthalmic medical device company that develops and markets breakthrough technologies for the improvement of vision. Using the small aperture concept, two products have been developed: the Company’s flagship product – the KAMRA® corneal inlay – and the innovative IC-8® intraocular lens. The IC-8 IOL is not available in the United States. Founded in 2001, AcuFocus is based in Irvine, Calif. For additional information about the KAMRA inlay or the IC-8 intraocular lens, visit www.AcuFocus.com, www.KAMRA.com, @KAMRAinlay, and www.facebook.com/KAMRAinlay.