Restoring Youthful Vision
By the time we turn 40 most of us are wearing reading glasses or bifocals. This has to do with a hardening of our natural God-given crystalline lens as we grow in wisdom and get older. Once the lens becomes hard, it can no longer change shape and provide near vision. That is when we begin to wear “cheaters” or reading glasses.
In earlier days, implantable lenses were not able to correct reading vision as they only had one focal point. However, technology has continued to advance and with that advancement, the arrival of new technology Premium Lenses. These implants provide a more natural range of vision without glasses, correcting astigmatism and allowing you to see distances (driving), intermediate (computer), and near (reading).
As a cataract patient today, you can now choose between a standard lens or a Premium lens. Sometimes one can become confused with all the options available, and in this issue, we would like to help break it all down for you. Standard IOLs (intraocular lens implants), for a patient without astigmatism, are designed to provide good distance vision. Patients choosing a standard lens will typically need to wear glasses for reading, and if there is any astigmatism present, will need glasses for intermediate and distance vision as well.
Well, what if you don’t want to be so dependent upon glasses following cataract surgery? Your best option may be to consider a Premium Lens.
Advance Technology Premium Lenses
There are two main categories of Premium lenses available in the United States. The first of these corrects astigmatism (the Toric IOL) and the second corrects presbyopia (reading vision).
with the Toric Lens
Most of us have astigmatism to some degree. So what exactly does this mean? Corneal astigmatism is a condition where the shape of the cornea is not spherical like a baseball, but more like a football, causing blurred or distorted vision. Because Toric IOLs can correct astigmatism, they eliminate the need for two corrective procedures. In addition to providing quality distance vision, they minimize and sometimes eliminate the need for glasses following cataract surgery.
An unexpected bonus for many patients While companies that produce the Toric IOLs are not able to make any claims regarding near vision, we have been surprised to see a significant number of our patients implanted with these lenses reading quite well without glasses. In our experience, the Toric implant is the most popular of all the Premium Lenses that we use at our eye center.
Simulated images of vision with astigmatism
Recovering Near Vision
Accommodating and Multifocal Implants
The Premium Lenses that enable us to have near vision following cataract surgery fall into two types:
1) accommodating implants and 2) multifocal implants. Though these are both designed to produce some near vision, they do this in distinctly different ways.
The Accommodating Crystalens was designed with a hinge that allows the lens to move forward when we attempt to see up close. This forward movement of the lens results in increased power that allows us to focus for near tasks. In addition to providing good distance vision, this lens provides the best intermediate vision for tasks such as working on computers, playing board games, cooking, shopping as well
as looking at our car dashboard.
Though able to provide some near vision for reading, our experience is that the near vision is somewhat variable. Our patients typically can read most magazines but often require weak readers for newspapers or very small print.
The Multifocal Implants (ReSTOR and Tecnis) are based on different design principles and provide near vision by establishing two focal points. Some light is lost in this process, but patients typically achieve good distance and near vision without glasses. The intermediate vision, however, is variable with the multifocal implants.
So Why Choose a Premium Lens?
It comes down to a lifetime, lifestyle choice.Choices are made daily when it comes to improving our homes and upgrading our electronic devices. Our sight is one of the most precious gifts we have and the lens choices we make prior to cataract surgery will affect us the rest of our lives.