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The Purpose of Cataract Surgery is to improve one’s vision by removing the cloudy lens to restore the amount of light that reaches the back of the eye. With advances in techniques and intraocular lenses, patient’s vision can not only be restored, but often they can become spectacle independent for far, near or both! Two of the biggest advances are in the correction of presbyopia (the need for reading glasses) and astigmatism.
Correction of Presbyopia
Until very recently people, who underwent cataract surgery received a monofocal (single vision) lens. This type of lens could only correct either distance or near vision. This meant patients must continue to wear glasses or bifocals for daily tasks like reading labels at the grocery store, newspapers, computer screens and medicine bottles.
However, AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOLs are multifocal lenses designed to both replace cataracts and correct both distance and near vision. This lens uses the technology known as apodization, refraction and diffraction and has been used in microscopes and telescopes to improve image quality.
Studies demonstrated that in patients who had ReSTOR lenses in both eyes, no glasses were needed for driving, reading, using the computer, applying makeup, or shaving in the vast majority of patients. Studies also demonstrated that ReSTOR patients were so satisfied with their vision that 94% indicated they would have the procedure again.
The material that the ReSTOR lens is made is the same material doctors have been using since the early 1990’s. The side effect profile of the ReStor multifocal l lens is very similar to that of traditional monofocal IOLs. However, with the ReStor, there is a greater chance of having significant halos (5 percent of all patients) or glare (5 percent) compared with a monofocal lens (1 percent and 2 percent, respectively). The halos or glare were severe enough that in studies conducted for Alcon by independent consultants 0.5 % of patients requested that their ReStor IOL be removed.
No current technology can eliminate glasses, and how well you will perform with multifocal lens implants can vary because of individual factors. Nevertheless, they are an excellent option for patients who already need cataract surgery who want to decrease their reliance upon glasses. While multifocal implants carry no guarantees, they should greatly improve the odds that you will be able to read and see better overall without glasses.
Not everyone is a candidate for this lens. Please inquire for more about your eligibility and the cost if you are interested in this technology!
Feel free to visit on www.acrysofrestor.com to learn even more about the ReSTOR lens.
Correction of Astigmatism
Astigmatism is a common condition that can make your vision distorted or blurred. The distortion is usually because the eye’s cornea or lens has an oval instead of the preferred round shape. It is a defect in the eye or in a lens caused by a deviation from spherical curvature, which results in distorted images, as light rays are prevented from meeting at a common focus.
A standard lens implant can be set to make you either far sighted or near sighted but if you have astigmatism, your focus without glasses will still be blurred to some degree because of the residual astigmatism that is not corrected by the standard lens implant. Eliminating your astigmatism will reduce your dependence upon glasses as compared to if you had a standard lens implant.
Patients with moderate or high degrees of astigmatism almost always experience blurred or distorted vision unless the astigmatism is corrected. This is accomplished with corrective lenses (glasses or contact lenses) prior to cataract surgery. In some cases, patients do not realize they have astigmatism prior to cataract surgery because the cataract masks the astigmatism; but in this case, when the cataract is removed, it will become evident.
At the time cataract surgery is performed, a TORIC lens can be placed into the eye. Unlike the standard lenses used in cataract surgery, they contain an additional correction power used to neutralize the irregularity in the cornea. These lenses are designed to correct most astigmatisms.
Toric lens implants usually do not entirely eliminate eyeglasses. Most patients who have toric lens implants in both eyes will not have to wear glasses for distance activities but they would be expected to wear glasses for near. There is the option to set both eyes for near with the toric lens and wear glasses for distance or even one eye for distance and one eye for near (monovision).
LASIK surgery can also be utilized to correct astigmatism but is significantly more expensive and is an additional procedure that cannot be performed at the same time as cataract surgery and carries additional risks, while the toric lens implant is placed in the course of the cataract surgery and carries almost no additional risk.