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New alternative to LASIK growing in popularity as many ditch lenses

New alternative to LASIK growing in popularity
New alternative to LASIK growing in popularity 02:15

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A newly approved permanent contact lens is growing in popularity, it's a new alternative for LASIK. No more fumbling with contacts or glasses, now there's an FDA-approved lens that stays in place, and people say it's life-changing. 

This is the newest implantable contact lens, called EVO.

"It's absolutely mind-blowing," patient Rusell Joy said. 

Joy is a Philadelphia area podcaster, who is now seeing with EVO.

"It's an entirely different world," Joy said. "It's incredible to not have to constantly have an extra pair of contacts or thick glasses on hand at any given time. It has absolutely changed the game in a big way." 

EVO is an alternative to LASIK vision correction which changes the anatomy of the eye with the lenses. They're placed just below the surface. 

Dr. Michaell Aronsky with Kremer Eye Center says this is a new and improved version of the EVO lens that corrects distance vision. 

"The lens comes with a small hole in the center so you avoid any complications," Dr. Aronsky said. "It is permanent, but it's removable."

He says the lens are placed through a tiny incision after the eyes are numbed. The procedure takes just a couple of minutes and the results are immediate. 

"'Very painless, it was just painless," patient Holly Hudman said. 

Hudman also works at Kremer and knows about all the vision correction options. She chose EVO. 

"It changed everything, like no dryness. I don't have to worry about the contacts in the morning, don't have to worry about the glasses," Hudman said. 

Doctors say there's a minor risk for infection, inflammation, and increased in eye pressure.

EVO costs between $2,500 and $5,000 per eye. Because it is an elective surgery it is not generally covered by health insurance.

"It's my favorite surgery that we do. I would say 50% of patients who have the surgery, sit up from the table and start crying. It's the most rewarding thing that we do," Aronsky said. 

The updated EVO lenses have been used internationally for years on about a million people. They were just recently approved by the FDA for use in the United States.

For more information on Kremer Eye Center and the procedure, click here

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