Narrator: This is Science Today. A new, non-laser approach for treating mild to moderate nearsightedness has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Dr. David Schanzlin, an ophthalmologist at the University of California, San Diego was the international investigator for Intacs - tiny, transparent rings which are implanted onto the cornea.
Schanzlin: It causes the fibers of the cornea to separate and since the cornea fibers form a dome on the surface of the eye and therefore have a curvature like a lens, when these elements are added to the cornea, they cause the cornea to flatten and when they flatten it corrects low degrees of nearsightedness.
Narrator: With Intacs, patients are offered an alternative to the popular, yet irreversible laser eye surgery.
Schanzlin: Although we can do touch ups with laser surgeries, all touch ups are done by removing more tissue and eventually there's not enough tissue to go around whereas with the Intacs, we merely add a thicker ring element or a thinner one.
Narrator: Intacs can also be removed if need be, with a good chance of returning the eyes to pre-surgery condition. For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.