You may have noticed that you need to hold reading materials further away than usual, or that your vision is blurry at a distance that never used to be a problem. Or maybe you've been suffering from eye fatigue and headaches when working with materials at a close range. These are classic symptoms of presbyopia.
Presbyopia is a natural change in our eyes' ability to focus. It occurs when the soft crystalline lens of the eye starts to harden. This loss of flexibility affects the lens' ability to focus light in the eye, causing nearby objects to look blurry. Presbyopia happens to everyone starting in about our 40s or 50s -- even in patients who have undergone cataract surgery or who have had laser vision correction.
The effects of presbyopia can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses, including bifocals and multifocals; lens replacement surgery, including Crystalens™, ReZoom® and ReSTOR®; conventional surgery; and monovision LASIK. Laser surgeries such as conventional LASIK, PRK and LASIK cannot correct presbyopia because they reshape the cornea rather than treat the lens.
Lens Replacement Surgery featuring Multifocal Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)
Artificial lenses (IOLs) are implanted in the eye to replace natural lenses that have been damaged by cloudy cataracts or hardening presbyopia. 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®, ReZoom™ and Crystalens™ preserve distance vision and correct presbyopia 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.
Crystalens™ is a new replacement lens (IOL) that works naturally with muscles in the eye to retain the eye's ability to "accommodate" –- to shift focus between nearby and distant objects. With older IOLs, patients lose this ability and require corrective eyewear to see clearly at near and intermediate distances.
Unlike rigid lenses, the flexible silicone Crystalens features innovative hinges that allow it to move with the eye's muscles and accommodate seamlessly, thereby reducing or eliminating the need for vision correction. The Crystalens is implanted using the same, nearly risk-free cataract surgery techniques as with other IOLs.
For years, patients who underwent cataract surgery had to wear glasses or contact lenses afterwards to see clearly. The newly developed ReSTOR® lens has overcome this problem, allowing patients to see better than ever before -- without the help of corrective eyewear.
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.
The ReZoom™ multifocal IOL helps patients focus clearly on objects at a range of distances and in varied light conditions.
Featuring a patented lens design called Balanced View Optics™ Technology, the ReZoom lens has five spherical segments with smooth transitions in between so the eyes focus seamlessly from one distance to the next. The center of the lens is optimized for bright light and distance vision, while the fourth zone supports near-vision in a variety of light conditions, and the outermost zone accommodates for low-light distance vision (such as when driving at night). The ReZoom is also specially designed to reduce internal reflections and minimize glare.
If you have been diagnosed as having cataracts and are experiencing one or more of the following vision problems, you may be a candidate for the ReZoom multifocal IOL:
- Difficulty reading
- Difficulty seeing close objects
- Difficulty driving, especially at night
- Frequent changes in glasses prescription
- Need for bifocals