Advanced Technology Lenses Transform Cataract Surgery

Intraocular lens can cure cataract, improve former vision

DAYTON, Ohio (May 23, 2018) – Cataract surgery now goes beyond the restoration of a person’s eyesight to actually improving upon the vision a patient had before the disease.

More than half of Americans will develop cataracts by the time they turn 80 years old, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Thankfully, cataract surgery can help most individuals who have the disease enjoy healthy vision again.

Everyone is born with a natural lens in his or her eyes that is located behind the iris, or colored part of the eyeball. The natural lens is clear when a person is young, but can become thick and opaque as they age. A cataract is when that lens changes in a way that creates a glare, halo or blurred vision. 

“Cataract surgery is like a window replacement,” said Amina Husain, MD, an eye surgeon with Premier Eye Surgeons. “We remove the cloudy lens and in its place we put an intraocular, or implanted, lens.”

Cataract surgery has evolved over the years to include lens options. Traditional cataract surgery methods offered only one focal point requiring a person to use reading glasses or bifocals after the procedure. Today’s patients can choose from a variety of lenses that, in most cases, help correct vision issues that the patient had prior to developing cataracts.

“In a sense, it’s like taking the prescription of a person’s glasses or contacts and placing it in the new lens,” Dr. Husain said.

Multifocal lenses, for instance, make it possible for a person to read without magnifying glasses while still seeing objects at a distance. Toric intraocular lenses are another option in lenses. These lenses correct natural astigmatism in a person’s eye, a condition where the irregular shape of a cornea requires the use of corrective lenses. 

The correction done through advanced technology lenses during cataract surgery is often compared to LASIK surgery. The difference, however, is that LASIK corrects a person’s vision by changing the shape of the cornea whereby cataract surgery improves vision by replacing the intraocular lens in the eye, Dr. Husain said.

Advanced technology lenses aren’t for everyone undergoing cataract surgery, which is why Dr. Husain urges patients to consult with their surgeon.

“It’s important that a patient work closely with their physician to choose the right replacement lens,” said Dr. Husain, who practices with Premier Physician Network. “A person needs to be aware that the new lens that is chosen will last them a lifetime.” 

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