FAA Approved Fix For Near Vision

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The FAA has approved a procedure called conductive keratoplasty to fix near vision problems in pilots who now must rely on glasses to read charts or the panel. "Certification by the FAA as a vision correction procedure for pilots validates the safety and value of CK as a refractive treatment," said Mitchell Campbell, president of Refractec, which makes the equipment for the procedure. CK is not to be confused with laser surgery. There's no cutting or burning of the eye. CK uses radio waves to reshape the cornea so the eye can focus closer. The radio energy shrinks the collagen on the cornea in a circular band that tightens and reshapes it. The procedure takes about three minutes, uses only an eyedrop anesthetic and, Mitchell said, FDA tests show 87 percent of patients can see telephone-book sized print after the treatment and 98 percent can see magazine-sized print. The treatment is considered "temporary" but the company didn't say how long it lasts.