Can doughnut-shaped implant sharpen reading vision?

The Ache: Reading glasses are one of the most hated inconveniences of growing older.

The Claim: A new doughnut-shaped device from AcuFocus Inc., Irvine, Calif., can dramatically reduce reliance on reading glasses. It’s implanted in the outer layer of just one eye, which will then be used for reading.

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The Verdict: In a 508-patient U.S. trial funded by AcuFocus, 87% of patients who kept the implant for the three-year-length of the study had at least 20/40 vision in the treated eye—good enough to read a newspaper without glasses in good light. Some patients have excellent near vision right after the surgery, but optimal results usually don’t appear for weeks or months while the eye heals and patients’ neural pathways adapt to reading with one eye, surgeons say.

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