Types of IOLs
~ Intraocular Lenses
A wide range of replacement lenses are available to cataract patients, each offering different advantages for post-surgery vision. The most effective lens to use depends on the patient’s individual preferences and goals for their vision. The lenses eliminate the need for glasses or contacts after cataract surgery, providing most patients with convenient, effective results for their specific vision conditions.
Multifocal IOLs allow for full vision correction at near, intermediate and far distances, completely eliminating the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses for most patients. Some IOLs can also correct astigmatism. The procedure to implant a multifocal IOL is performed at the conclusion of cataract surgery.
These choices were not always available for cataract patients. In the past, cataract surgery only involved monofocal lenses, which could only focus on objects near or far, but could not adjust to accommodate varying distances. These patients still had to rely on glasses or contact lenses after surgery in order to see clearly at all distances, especially for those older patients suffering from presbyopia.
Crystalens is the only FDA-approved presbyopia correcting intraocular lens (IOL) that corrects vision through accommodation. The Crystalens IOL is made with flexible silicone that has hinges on each side allowing it to move with the eye muscle, flexing and accommodating seamlessly so you can focus on the objects around you at any distance. In other words, it dynamically adjusts to your visual needs.
Accommodation is the ability to shift focus between nearby and distant objects, providing sharper vision at multiple distances in order to minimize the use of glasses. Other IOLs are unable to accommodate and those patients may require additional vision correction with glasses or contact lenses.
Intraocular lenses are used during cataract surgery to replace the damaged lens of the eye with an implant that clears up and corrects vision, oftentimes leaving patients with little to no dependence on glasses.
Up until now, patients with astigmatism did not have the same opportunities that other cataract patients have had in correcting their condition with the types of IOL lenses that were available. Typically, the astigmatic patient would need an additional surgical procedure, such as refractive surgery or LASIK, to correct their vision after the procedure. If the patient did not want to undergo another surgical procedure, the only option for correction would be the use of either contact lenses or glasses to address their astigmatism.
Toric IOLs are able to accommodate for the condition of astigmatism. Toric IOLs are specially designed to correct astigmatism along with overall vision during cataract surgery, offering complete vision correction.
Tecnis® Multifocal IOL
The Tecnis Multifocal intraocular lens (IOL) can be used for those patients with or without presbyopia who want to have near, intermediate and distance vision without relying on glasses or contact lenses. Cataract surgery, which replaces the eye’s cataract-impaired lens with an artificial clear lens (IOL) is the most commonly performed surgical procedure in the United States.
Benefits of the Tecnis Multifocal IOL
The Tecnis IOL was designed to provide cataract surgery patients with a high-quality vision similar to that of a younger person. The Tecnis IOL is meant to improve functional vision – the ability to see objects in varying light conditions – especially at night and twilight and in rain, snow and fog. This means improved night vision and reduction of spherical aberrations, an undesirable scattering of light that is a common side effect of cataract surgery.
Unlike other multifocal IOLs, the Tecnis Multifocal IOL provides the following benefits:
- Excellent vision at all distances
- Excellent vision at all light levels
- Do not require reading glasses
Candidates for Tecnis Multifocal IOL
The Tecnis IOL is ideal for cataract patients who have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty reading
- Difficulty seeing objects up close
- Difficulty with driving, especially at night
- Need for bifocals
- Frequent changes in their eyeglass prescription
The doctor will determine whether or not this lens is right for the patient after a comprehensive eye exam and an evaluation of their medical history and the goals they want to achieve with the surgery.
The Tecnis Multifocal IOL Procedure
The cataract-impaired lens of the eye is gently removed through a tiny incision that is made on the edge of the cornea. The lens is then removed and replaced with the Tecnis IOL. The procedure takes between 15 to 45 minutes to complete.
Following the procedure, patients will be able to return home after about an hour of observation. A follow-up appointment is usually scheduled for the day after the surgery to monitor the patient’s recovery. Recovery from the surgery is usually short, and most patients are able to return to their normal activities almost immediately.
There may be some itching, discomfort and sensitivity to light after surgery, which can be managed through eye drops that have been prescribed by the doctor. These symptoms usually go away within a few days as the eye heals and patients can begin to enjoy the many benefits of their new vision.
Risks and Complications of the Tecnis Multifocal IOL Procedure
As with any surgery, Tecnis Multifocal lens surgery has potential complications. The most common side effects of all cataract procedures include:
- A sensitivity to light
These risks, however, are rare and are often outweighed by the potential benefits of restoring vision.
Complications specific to Tecnis Multifocal lenses may include:
- Loss of sharpness of vision in low light
- Halos or glare in night time conditions
Visit the Tecnis® website to learn more about the Tecnis family of IOLs.