Don’t laugh, but it took a vinyl record-shaped device smaller than a grain of rice to disrupt the $800 million dollar reading glasses industry.

In the early 2000s, a group of medical researchers and doctors began prototyping a surgical invention with a goal to permanently correct reading vision. While this curious little device— which would become known as the corneal inlay—had the potential to help millions of patients around the world who struggle with poor reading vision, the reading glasses industry bigwigs scoffed and paid little attention to this promising innovation.

But this group of doctors saw something the huge reading glasses corporations didn’t. They saw a market primed for disruption, full of people ready to break free from the frustrations of antiquated drugstore readers and the restrictions that come along with them. These doctors figured out a smarter way: Create a permanent, discrete, convenient solution to poor reading vision with the corneal inlay procedure.

Tens of thousands of happy patients later, those same big corporations aren’t scoffing—they’re sweating. Sweating because patients across the globe have embraced this smarter way of  improving their reading vision, by voting with their wallets in support of innovative lifestyle solutions like the corneal inlay and the surgeons who provide them.

The moral of the story: Never bet against innovation. Embrace it and all the benefits that come along with it.

To learn more about your options for corneal inlays or LASIK in St. Louis, click here to schedule a screening for the corneal inlay and embrace the smarter way of improving your near vision.

Dr. Jason P. Brinton is an internationally recognized specialist in the field of LASIK and refractive surgery. He is a graduate of Harvard College, earned his medical doctorate from the Harvard Medical School and is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology.