London: Laser surgery, presently used to treat short-sightedness, is being tested as a cure for presbyopia, or long-sightedness that develops with age, as well.
If successful, it could dramatically reduce the need for reading glasses.
The deterioration results from the stiffening of the eye lens, which makes zooming in on close objects more difficult, reports the Daily mail.
The latest research, from three laboratories in Europe and the US, offers hope of a real alternative.
The technique involves using lasers to re-engineer the eyeball, either by cutting slits, into which tiny lenses can be inserted, or by altering the shape of its outer layer.
Researcher Ioannis Pallikaris said: "Ninetyeight percent of patients were satisfied with their vision; 69 percent reported `excellent` and 30 percent `good` near vision. Ninetytwo percent said they no longer used glasses."
By 50 years, most adults find they can`t read a menu, book or newspaper without holding it at arm`s length.
Although laser surgery is widely used to treat short-sightedness, only a handful of British surgeons use it to treat presbyopia.
These findings will be presented at the American Academy of Ophthalmology`s annual conference this week.