A Breakthrough in Cataract Surgery - Providing Freedom from Glasses
In the past, patients having cataract surgery automatically received a single focus IOL. These IOLs provided patients with good functional distance vision, but offered little benefit for a full range of vision. Typically reading glasses or bifocals were used for near vision, making most patients dependant on glasses even after surgery. But now with the newly FDA approved IOLs, such as Crystalens®, the ReSTOR®,
and the TECNIS® Multifocal, The Eye Associates is able to offer patients the possibility of improving their vision to a level perhaps not experienced even before the development of cataracts. The Crystalens®, the ReSTOR®,
and the TECNIS® Multifocal are three of the most technologically advanced IOLs on the market today.
If you would like to learn more about high tech lenses to see if they are right for you, contact The Eye Associates today for a appointment.
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The AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL is another multifocal lens design that uses the strengths of apodized diffractive and refractive technologies to provide cataract patients with increased independence from glasses and contact lenses. Apodization is characterized by the gradual tapering of different diffractive steps of the implanted lens. These steps smoothly change from the center to the outside of the lens, causing light to bend, refocus, and provide proper vision at distances from near to far. Refraction refers to the redirection of light so that it focuses on the retina for improved vision. The ReSTOR® received FDA approval in 2005 but has been used in Europe to reduce dependence on glasses since 2003.
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The Crystalens® is one of the high tech lenses that The Eye Associates offers to cataract surgery patients desiring to reduce their dependence on glasses. It is the first and only FDA approved accommodating intraocular lens engineered to mimic the eye's natural process of accommodation. Unlike the multifocal IOLs, and ReSTOR® which are fixed and stationary within the eye, the Crystalens® automatically moves back and forth as you constantly change focus distances from near to far to intermediate. Also, this new lens has been shown to improve reading ability and overall vision, without loss of contrast sensitivity, as compared to previous generations of lenses.
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The TECNIS® Multifocal, like the ReSTOR®, uses gradual tapering of different diffractive steps of the implanted lens to give patients not only good distance and reading vision, but also to provide good intermediate vision, increasing independence from glasses and contact lenses. TECNIS® Multifocal is proven to improve vision in all light conditions, including night driving. The TECNIS® Multifocal and TECNIS® Monofocal are the only two lenses proven to provide more driver reaction time after cataract surgery.
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10 Most Frequently Asked Questions About High Tech IOLs
Crystalens® - ReSTOR® -
1. How are high tech IOLs different from the standard single focus IOLs?
Standard single focus (also known as monofocal) IOLs are fixed-focus lens implants that are designed to provide good distance vision. With them, most patients see well enough to drive or watch TV without glasses, however, corrective lenses are usually necessary to read, play cards or do any close-up work. The new lens designs of the ReSTOR®
and the TECNIS® Multifocal create multiple focal points so patients are able to see well at varied distances, while the Crystalens® is engineered to mimic the eye's natural process of accommodation. The Crystalens® automatically moves back and forth as you change focus distances from near to far to intermediate. All three of these high tech lenses offer patients the opportunity for a greater independence from glasses after cataract surgery.
2. Could I be a candidate for one of the high tech lens?
If you have been diagnosed with cataracts and/or presbyopia and are in good general health, you may benefit from this exciting technology. It is important to note, however, that patient selection criteria requires that both eyes be done, generally within several weeks of each other, in order to achieve the optimum results. In addition, your eyes must be healthy and not afflicted with other medical conditions such as diabetic retinopathy, uncontrolled glaucoma, or advanced macular degeneration. The determination of whether this high tech lens would be right for you can only be made by your doctor after a thorough eye examination.
3. What if I’ve already had cataract surgery? Can I get these IOLs?
Presently, if you have already had cataract surgery, you are not a candidate for these high tech lenses. However, in the near future, we will have high tech lenses that will be approved for patients that have already had cataract surgery. We will be able to surgically insert a second IOL, known as a “piggy-back” lens, in front of your existing fixed-focus IOL. This will allow you to see both near and far. If you are interested in being notified when this new lens is available, please contact us to be placed on our notification list.
4. What if I’ve already had LASIK or another eye surgery? Can I get these lenses?
If you’ve had LASIK or some other type of laser resurfacing eye surgery, you still may be a candidate as long as your eyes are in good health.
5. After receiving one of these high tech lenses, will I still need glasses at times?
The goal of these lenses is to maximize convenience through minimizing, not necessarily totally eliminating, your need for glasses. Most patients can conduct the majority of their daily activities without glasses after surgery, but results do vary depending upon your vision, lifestyle, and the anatomy of your eyes. Various studies show that 80 percent to 92 percent of those receiving this technology “never” or only “occasionally” need to wear glasses. Circumstances where glasses were sometimes needed included night driving, long periods of reading, and reading very fine print.
6. Is there an adjustment period or side effects after surgery?
Patients receiving these high tech lenses usually experience an “adjustment period.” It generally takes six to 12 weeks for the brain to learn to "see" up close and distance with the new lens. Also, some people report halos or glare around lights while getting used to them. For most, this issue diminishes over time. However, for some, it never completely goes away. More people report that the ability to see near and far greatly outweighs any visual side effects associated with these IOLs.
7. Will I require additional eye surgeries after a high tech lens?
Perhaps. Even though all three high tech lenses are designed to provide a lifetime of clear distance, near and intermediate vision, there are no guarantees. Again, results will vary depending upon your vision, lifestyle, and the anatomy of your eyes. While the goal is to treat your hyperopia or myopia, loss of accommodation and the cataract all at once, it is possible that an additional procedure to “fine tune” your vision will be necessary for you to fully realize this technology’s benefit and meet your expectation. Consult with your surgeon to make sure you understand the issues associated with these lenses, and what additional procedures might be indicated to ensure your ultimate satisfaction.
8. Is the cost of high tech lenses covered by Medicare and/or other insurance?
If you have vision loss due to cataracts, the good news is that the cost of these high tech lenses and the associated services are partially covered by Medicare and private medical insurance. The patient is responsible for payment of that portion which exceeds the charge of the standard single focus IOL.
If you do not have a cataract, most insurance companies will not provide coverage. They usually consider this a cosmetic rather than a medical necessity. The patient then would be responsible for payment of the surgery, lens implant and surgery center fees. Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover can be used, and we also offer several affordable financing plans, including interest-free, for those wanting to finance the procedure.
9. What is the difference between the Crystalens®, the ReSTOR®,
and the TECNIS® Multifocal?
All three high tech lenses are designed to provide distance and near vision simultaneously, but each using a different patented design. Your doctor will ask you questions about your lifestyle and needs before making a recommendation as to which lens design would work best for you.
10. How do I know if I am a candidate?
Unfortunately, not everyone is a candidate for these remarkable new IOLs. Please take a moment to answer the following questions and it will provide some indication of whether you might be a candidate for this exciting new technology.
- I have not had cataract surgery in either of my eyes.
- I do not have wet macular degeneration.
- I do not have glaucoma, or if I do, it is controlled through successful treatment.
- I have not had a life long complaint about glare.
- I have vision in both eyes.
- I don’t have an occupation or hobby that often requires me to drive at night.
- I’m not hypercritical about my vision.
- I don’t like wearing glasses all the time.
Congratulations. If you have said yes to all of the boxes above, then you may be a candidate!
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To find out for sure if you are a candidate for the high tech
IOLs, email us or call 941-792-2020 for an eye examination appointment today.