Los Angeles Eye Institute, Encino, CA | Irina Ganelis, M.D. Your Personal Eye Doctor. Ophthalmology. Complete Eye Care and Surgery.
Seeing Without Glasses after Cataract Surgery: Advances in Premium Intraocular Lenses
Cataract surgery has become one of the most common and safe surgeries, producing excellent results. Of those having the surgery, over 90% of cataract surgery patients end up with clearer vision. However, even though vision is cleared for many recipients, they still require the use of glasses afterwards, either to see up close or at a distance.
Proper working of both the cornea and the eye lens is required for perfect vision. When one of these is altered by some means then vision is altered as well. Cataracts form over the eye’s natural crystalline lens and obstruct vision and, therefore, require surgery to replace the damaged lens that is causing light refraction problems which distort vision.
In the past, cataract surgeons inserted artificial intraocular lenses (IOLs) into the eye and vision was corrected. However, these unaccommodating and “monofocal” lenses were limited in their ability, only providing clear sight at a certain distance. Because of this limitation, glasses were required to see the other distances clearly, usually for up close tasks such as reading, and intermediate tasks such as using computer or picking food in the supermarket.
Advances in cataract lens technology now provides accommodating and multifocal intraocular lenses. One accommodating lens, Crystalens, works like your natural lens and actually moves with the flexing and relaxing muscles of the eye to provide clear vision at multiple distances. Patients fitted with multifocal lenses, such as ReSTOR or ReZOOM, are able to focus on objects far away as well as up close and at intermediate distances thereby eliminating the need for eye glasses.
Free from dependency on different eye glasses, accommodating and multifocal IOL patients are now able to enjoy a number of activities which they may have been limited in doing before. Driving, reading, watching TV, detailed craftwork, etc can all be accomplished without the need for glasses when accommodating or multifocal lenses are used.
Those having astigmatisms are also helped with today’s leaps in IOL technology. Toric IOLs correct astigmatism problems allowing many with this problem to see without glasses once healed from the surgery. If you have astigmatism and have any other IOL inserted, you would still require glasses afterwards.
You should know that Toric intraocular lenses are monofocal and, therefore, only correct distant or near vision and not both. For example, if you have your distant vision corrected with Toric IOLs then you would still require glasses for near vision clarity should you have that problem. However, they are still a good alternative to those suffering from acute astigmatism.
These premium lenses are not appropriate for all patients and your doctor will perform a thorough examination of your eyes before making a recommendation. Patients with some retinal or corneal problems and glaucoma may not be good candidates for premium lens implantation. People who have had laser vision correction may also need additional refractive procedure to further improve their vision.
If the cataract surgery with premium intraocular lens implantation performed on both eyes, the procedures are usually spaced one to two weeks apart. The brain will develop new adaptation to adjust to the optics of the new intraocular lens which typically occurs over period of a few weeks to a few months. Talk to your eye doctor about your everyday activities so the most appropriate lens can be chosen for you to best fit your lifestyle and give you the best vision possible without glasses.