Monofocal, Multifocal & Accommodative Lenses
Following removal of the eye’s natural crystalline lends during either cataract or Clear Lens Exchange surgery, we have the option of implanting a variety of intraocular lenses. These lenses include the standard single vision lens, the Toric astigmatism correcting lens, the ReSTOR and TECNIS multifocal lenses and the accommodative Crystalens. Any of the lenses we use can be implanted through a self-sealing (usually without stitches) opening of less than 2.4 mm (varies somewhat based on lens design).
Most common is the standard single focus lens implant which gives the surgeon the opportunity to correct the patient for either distance vision in both eyes or for monovision, also known as “blended vision”. With monovision, the surgeon corrects your dominant eye for seeing at distance and your non-dominant eye for near vision, thereby reducing the need for reading glasses. When both eyes are functioning together, the brain naturally selects the image from the eye that has the clearer focus. Having eyes for different purposes might sound unsettling, but many patients do very well with monovision. Blended vision simply refers to monovision with a smaller discrepancy between the eyes. Monovision and blended vision are common goals for patients over the age of 40, whether they are having laser vision correction (i.e., LASIK of PRK) or an implantable lens procedure (i.e., cataract or Clear Lens Exchange surgery). This allows patients to achieve good functional vision at both distance and near without the need for glasses or contact lenses.
AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL:
Potentially Eliminate Cataracts and the Need For Glasses All at Once
ReStorWhat is the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL?
The AcrySof® ReSTOR® lens is a breakthrough intraocular lens (IOL) that corrects cataracts, with or without presbyopia. Presbyopia is the reason many patients need reading glasses as their eyes age. The result is clear vision near, far, and everywhere in between. In fact, 4 out of 5 patients in the supporting clinical study who had the AcrySof® ReSTOR® lens implanted in both eyes reported never wearing glasses again.
How does the AcrySof® ReSTOR® lens differ from other IOLs?
The AcrySof® ReSTOR® lens is a multifocal IOL. Traditional IOLs are monofocal. As the name implies, monofocal lenses can only give you clear distance vision, which means reading glasses are still needed. Even if you don’t wear reading glasses now, you’d have to with a traditional IOL.
How are IOLs inserted?
ReStorIOLs are implanted during cataract surgery, which is one of the safest and most effective procedures performed today. Your eye doctor will make a tiny incision in your eye, remove your eye’s natural clouded lens, and replace it with the AcrySof® ReSTOR® lens. Your eye doctor will implant the lens in one eye, then schedule an appointment for your second eye–usually a week later.
What’s the reaction of patients who have experienced the AcrySof® ReSTOR® lens?
Patients are so pleased with their vision, nearly 94% of the patients in the supporting clinical study said they would have the AcrySof® ReSTOR® lens implanted again. Given the simplicity of the procedure and the life-changing results, many wish they’d acted sooner.
Is the AcrySof® ReSTOR® lens proven?
The AcrySof® ReSTOR® lens comes from Alcon, the world’s leader in lenses for cataract surgery. The Alcon family of lenses is the most widely used brand: more than 25 million AcrySof® IOLs have been implanted worldwide.
Is cataract surgery painful?
Cataract surgery is generally a simple, outpatient procedure with little discomfort. The results are permanent, and the actual surgery can take only minutes. Most patients are back to their normal activities the very next day.
Originally approved by the FDA in 2003, the Crystalens can effectively treat cataracts and presbyopia (loss of reading vision) by replacing the eye’s natural lens with an accommodating lens. This amazing new lens is designed with tiny hinges that allow the implant to move forward and backward, accommodating in response to the eye’s focusing muscles. The Crystalens provides an increased depth of focus which is designed to improve near vision without compromising intermediate or distance vision.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE CRYSTALENS
What is the Crystalens?
The Crystalens is an intraocular lens (IOL) that is implanted in the eye following cataract surgery. Unlike a standard cataract replacement lens, this lens is designed to mimic the natural human lens and allow the patient to focus on objects at all distances, reducing or eliminating a patient’s need for glasses.
What makes the Crystalens different from other IOLs?
Most IOLs are monofocal IOLs that are designed to have only one clear point of focus (usually set at distance). As a result, patients usually have to use reading glasses to see near and intermediate objects after surgery. The Crystalens is an accommodating IOL that has been designed to move within the eye so that most patients will be able to see at all distances without the need for glasses.
Will I still need to wear my glasses?
Most patients who have the new Crystalens implanted during cataract surgery are able to function at all distances including near vision without the need for glasses. However, some patients may still need the aid of reading glasses to read extremely small print or in dim light.
How long after surgery until I can see my best?
Usually most patients will see clearly within a day after cataract surgery. This good vision will continue to improve during the next few weeks. Healing time, however, may vary from patient to patient.
Is there an adjustment period after surgery?
Usually, there is not an adjustment period after surgery and good vision is attained fairly quickly. However, everyone’s eyes are different and healing times may vary from patient to patient.
Will the surgery hurt?
Most patients will experience little to no operative or post-operative pain. Typically, topical anesthetic drops are placed in the eye and oral medications are administered to help patients relax.
What are the risks of this surgery?
As with all surgical procedures, there are risks associated with cataract surgery. These risks need to be discussed thoroughly with your surgeon. Only you and your surgeon can make the decision that surgery is right for you.
What are the differences among near vision, intermediate vision and distance vision?
- Near vision is defined as up-close vision or reading vision.
- Intermediate vision is vision at distances from 2 to 10 feet in distance and includes activities like computer work, reading the dashboard in your car and television viewing
- Distance vision is looking at objects in the distance like traffic signals, watching sporting events and generally looking at any objects farther than 10 feet away.
Advanced technology makes it possible to correct the cataracts that may be clouding your vision – and the astigmatism that may be distorting your vision – all at the same time. The Toric intraocular lens replaces your eye’s natural clouded lens during cataract surgery. It also has the ability to reduce or eliminate corneal astigmatism at the same time it corrects cataracts. Typically the result is improved distance vision and less dependence on eyeglasses. However, most patients still require corrective lenses for near and intermediate tasks. With the Toric lens, your distance vision can now be clear and vibrant following cataract surgery.
Tecnis Multifocal Lens
Most people over 60 years of age experience blurry vision as a result of cataracts, and almost everyone over 50 loses the ability to read comfortably without glasses due to presbyopia. The advanced TECNIS Multifocal Lens is an excellent option for cataract and presbyopic patients and can provide excellent vision at near, intermediate and far distances under all lighting conditions … day and night. The TECNIS Lens allows people to read a menu in a dimly lit restaurant, take a walk at dusk and even drive at night. Most importantly, the TECNIS Multifocal Lens has allowed thousands of people to achieve independence from glasses.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. Is the TECNIS Multifocal Lens procedure safe?
A. Every surgical procedure has risks and potential side effects and our office will discuss these in detail. However, the lens removal and lens implant technique used in this procedure is performed over 15 million times per year worldwide and is recognized for its safety and predictability.
Q. How long will it be before I see well?
A. Everyone heals at a different rate; however, in most cases, patients notice an improved vision almost immediately. There can be an adjustment period when patients see glare or halos around bright lights. This usually goes away over a period of weeks or months.
Q. Will I be totally free from glasses?
A. Following their procedure with the TECNIS Lens, many people experience the best eyesight they’ve had in years. In fact, nearly 9 out of 10 people do not require glasses after receiving the TECNIS Lens.
Q. Am I a candidate for the TECNIS Multifocal Lens?
A. Anyone diagnosed with cataracts can be a candidate for the lens. Whether the TECNIS Lens is the best option depends on an individual’s lifestyle, personal preferences and overall health of the eyes. The first step is to schedule an eye exam to determine the best options for vision correction.
The Symfony lens is the first lens to be approved by the FDA with the designation “extended range of focus” intraocular lens. While the lens implant looks like a multifocal lens, the optics work differently. Instead of producing two distinct focal points, the lens can achieve excellent clarity at distance and a range of clear vision at near for patients receiving the lens. The arrival of the Symfony lens is welcomed news because many patients who were not good candidates for a multifocal lens may, in fact, be very good Symfony candidates. One specific group of patients consists of cataract patients with significant astigmatism.
Our expectations for Symfony patients are that they should be able to pass a driver’s test, navigate their cell phone, perform most computer tasks, and read their Kindle without the need for glasses. A multifocal lens can be considered a bit stronger than the Symfony with regards to its ability to provide newspaper or paperback book reading vision to implanted patients. While complete spectacle independence is often our goal with our refractive cataract surgery patients, we are, of course, unable to guarantee any specific outcome. Like multifocal lens patients, patients undergoing Symfony lens implantation need to understand that they may see some halos/rings around lights when driving at night. Fortunately, the incidence of persistent and troublesome night vision disturbances is uncommon.
Patients contemplating cataract or refractive lens exchange surgery can be evaluated for their candidacy for the Symfony lens or other refractive techniques.