Replacement Lens Choices for Our Cataract PatientsWednesday, November 15th, 2017, 5:55 am
Cataracts, a clouding of the lenses of the eyes, is a common condition, especially among those over age 60. Statistics show that over 50 percent of Americans 80 and over either have a cataract or have already had surgery to remove the clouded lens and replace it with an intraocular lens (IOL).
As surgeons and providers of replacement IOLs, at The Eye Clinic we’re excited about the new lenses that are available. Whereas patients formerly had to decide what they wanted their predominant vision to be, i.e. long distance or near vision, now patients can choose multifocal lenses that function much like our natural eyes, able to see both up close and at distance.
When the eye’s natural lens develops a cataract, it becomes cloudy. This is the result of proteins that build up in the lens over time. Most of this is simply due to aging, but development can also be enhanced by sun exposure, smoking, diabetes, and other factors. Once a lens has a cataract, there isn’t any treatment other than surgically removing the natural lens and replacing it with an IOL.
Lens choices for cataract replacement
Since surgical replacement is the only solution for cataracts, you’ll decide what kind of IOL you want to replace your natural lens. These are your options:
- Monofocal lens implants – The original cataract replacemant implants, these lenses only offer vision at one distance — far, intermediate, or near — so the wearer will need glasses either for up close or distance vision. The focal distance can be set to the distance chosen by the patient. It may be set for both eyes to either see at a distance, such as for driving or maybe watching TV; or for near vision, such as reading and using a computer. Or, one eye can receive an IOL that provides near vision and the other eye an IOL that provides distance vision. Most people can adjust to this seemingly disjointed arrangement, as the brain adjusts and filters the incoming stimuli according to the vision needed.
- Multifocal lens implants – First introduced in 2005, these newer lenses allow the patient to see well at more than one distance, without glasses. They are considered to be “premium” lenses because of the extra benefits that are unavailable in monovision IOLs. Multifocal IOLs also correct for presbyopia, which is the natural loss of near and intermediate vision as most people pass the age of 40.
- Accommodating lens implants – Accommodating implants shift with the action of the eye muscles to increase focusing ability. These lenses offer excellent vision at all distances.
- Toric lens implants – These lenses not only replace cataract-clouded lenses, but also correct astigmatism. There are various options depending on the amount of astigmatism to be corrected. Plus, in 2013 the first accommodating toric IOL was approved by the FDA.
If you’ve noticed that your vision is becoming cloudy, these exciting choices of IOLs make it silly to wait to have replacement surgery. All you’re missing out on is crystal clear vision! Call the team at The Eye Clinic P.C. and let’s talk about how we can replace your cataract-clouded natural lenses with today’s IOLs. 503-297-4718 in St. Vincent, 503-228-6681 in Portland.