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Reading glasses for aging baby boomers could become a relic if a new eye gel treatment is proven safe and effective. The technique, developed by scientists in Australia, involves replacing the contents of the lens in the eye with a soft polymer gel. Initially the gel could be used to improve cataract surgery in elderly patients. Inserting the gel would be similar to cataract surgery but without replacing the lens. The contents would be sucked out by a tiny incision in the cornea and replaced with the gel.
?But once it is shown to be safe and effective, we think that more and more younger people who are starting to need reading glasses will adopt it as well,? said Arthur Ho, PhD, of the University of New South Wales. As people age, the lens in the eye becomes less flexible, so when most people reach their mid-to-late 40s they need reading glasses. Ho and his colleagues hope to begin human trials next year.