Past Clinical Trials at Kugler Vision

Kugler Vision in Omaha, Nebraska, is a leader in ophthalmology and refractive surgery and is pleased to bring life-changing laser vision correction technology to the area. Our mission is to remain on the forefront of scientific advancements that improve our patients’ lives, and we are excited to offer new vision technology. Read more on the clinical trials Kugler Vision has had the privilege to conduct.


Corneal Cross-linking Clinical Trial for the Treatment of Keratoconus

On Nov. 7, 2012 , Kugler Vision became the first institution in Nebraska to perform the corneal cross-linking procedure to treat keratoconus. The procedure was done as part of national, multicenter clinical trials examining the safety and efficacy of the corneal cross-linking procedure for the treatment of keratoconus and corneal ectasia after refractive surgery.

What is keratoconus?

So, just what is keratoconus? Keratoconus is a progressive degenerative eye disease affecting one in every 200 to 500 Americans. Patients with this disease experience a gradual steepening and thinning of the cornea, which leads to a progressive loss of vision. Until now, the only treatment options were specialized hard contacts or INTACS implantation, until corneal transplant surgery was required. Although corneal transplantation is generally effective, it is a major surgery that carries risks and complications, including vision loss. Additionally, successful surgery still requires a recovery period of nine to 12 months.

What is corneal cross-linking?

Cross-linking attempts to reduce the progression of keratoconus or corneal ectasia by strengthening the collagen bonds inside the cornea. People who undergo the cross-linking procedure as part of the research study receive drops of riboflavin (vitamin B2) ophthalmic solution, a micronutrient that promotes collagen strengthening, that are activated through the use of ultraviolet light therapy.

The result is a stronger corneal structure that gives the cornea greater ability to withstand the degeneration that occurs in diseases such as keratoconus.

Lance Kugler, MD, was one of a small group of 100 principal investigators conducting a clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of collagen corneal cross-linking in the United States.

This trial has concluded and Kugler Vision is no longer seeking subjects to participate in this national corneal cross-linking clinical trial to study the safety and efficacy of this treatment.

Presbyopia Correction Clinical Research Study

These clinical trials have concluded. Lance Kugler, MD, and Patti Fries, OD, coordinated with Refocus Group ( to conduct clinical research studies to determine if the investigational Scleral Spacing Procedure (SSP) and the PresVIEW Scleral Implant (PSI) would eliminate the need for corrective eyewear arising from presbyopia.

What is presbyopia?

Presbyopia (which means “aging eye”) is an age-related eye condition that makes it more difficult to see up close, such as when you are reading. Like gray hair and wrinkles, presbyopia is a symptom caused by the natural course of aging, not a disease. The first signs of presbyopia are usually noticed between the ages of 40 and 50, and can include:

  • difficulty focusing on fine print and small objects (particularly in low light)
  • the need to hold reading materials farther away in order to focus
  • eyestrain when reading for long periods
  • momentary blurred vision when transitioning between viewing distances

Presbyopia differs from myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism, which are related to the shape of the eyeball and are caused by genetic and environmental factors. Unlike these commonly known eye disorders, presbyopia is simply a symptom of aging and eventually affects everyone.