Artificial lenses (IOLs) are implanted in the eye to replace natural lenses for patients with cataracts, presbyopia or severe refractive errors. Until recently, IOLs were only available to correct distance vision. These monofocal lenses helped improve distance vision after cataract surgery, but patients still needed glasses or contact lenses for near vision activities like reading and playing cards.
Now, advancements in technology have produced multifocal IOLs that allow patients to see clearly at all distances -- near, far and many distances in between. Multifocal IOLs such as ReSTOR® and TECNIS® preserve distance vision and correct near vision so cataract surgery patients -- and patients seeking treatment for presbyopia alone -- can enjoy clear sight without relying on glasses.
The procedure to replace a patient's natural lens with a multifocal IOL is the same as that used in cataract surgery.
Multifocal Intraocular Lenses
Using apodization, diffraction and refraction technologies, the ReSTOR® lens improves upon ordinary replacement lenses (IOLs) by providing comprehensive focusing capabilities so patients can see clearly in a range of lighting conditions and at all distances -- at noon or midnight, nearby or far away, and many distances in between. Up to 80% of patients who use the ReSTOR® lens don't need to rely on glasses or contact lenses after surgery.
TECNIS® Multifocal IOL
The TECNIS® Multifocal IOL helps cataract patients achieve clear vision at all distances after surgery, including improved night vision and driving capabilities. Using wavefront technology, the TECNIS lens allows patients to restore the clear, functional vision of their youth. After surgery, up to nine out of ten patients no longer need to wear glasses, results much more successful than those achieved with standard multifocal lenses. It is the only lens FDA-approved to enhance functional vision and night-driving performance.
The advanced TECNIS lens is ideal for patients who have difficulty reading and seeing objects closely, as well as those with poor night vision. This lens is implanted during the same procedure that removes the cloudy lens, and does not require any additional incisions. Patients can enjoy immediate vision improvement in most cases.
As with other multifocal IOLs the Symfony IOL provides an extended depth of focus. The Symfony IOL provides high-quality continuous vision so patients can see clearly at near, far away and intermediate distances, and points in between, while wearing glasses less. The IOL also provides seamless, day to night vision. This IOL has demonstrated a low incidence of halo and glare, which provides better night vision. However, after surgery you may need low powered reading glasses for optimal near vision.
Astigmatism Correcting IOLs
Intraocular lenses are used to correct vision problems during cataract surgery by replacing the old lens with an artificial lens that clears up and corrects vision, often leaving patients with little to no dependence on glasses. While cataract surgery corrects cloudy lenses, it still leaves patients who have astigmatism with distorted vision. Toric IOLs are specially designed to correct astigmatism along with overall vision during cataract surgery, offering more comprehensive vision correction.
Before Tecnis Toric or AcrySof Toric IOLs, people with astigmatism would need to undergo corneal refractive surgery after their lenses were implanted, or would remain dependent on glasses or contact lenses. The advanced Toric IOLs correct the imbalance caused by an irregular cornea shape in patients with astigmatism. There are several different types of FDA approved Toric IOLs, including Tecnis Toric and AcrySof Toric lenses.
Symfony Toric IOL
While a standard IOL can improve an eye's cloudy natural lens, if you have astigmatism you will still need glasses or contacts to see clearly. However, depending on your priorities and lifestyle your doctor may recommend a premium multifocal toric IOL, such as the Symfony Toric IOL. Its advanced design replaces your cloudy natural lens with the cataract and also corrects your astigmatism. This typically provides patients crisp, clear vision with much less reliance on glasses for distance, intermediate and near vision. However, after surgery you may need low powered reading glasses for optimal near vision.