lens implants ó inserted during a surgical procedure to remove
cataracts and improve vision ó have been available to visually
impaired patients for more than 60 years. But new technology presents
more options to people struggling with their eyesight.
intraocular lenses can change the power of the eye and improve vision
by getting rid of the cloudiness and getting rid of dependence on
glasses," says Dr. Edward Braza, an ophthalmologist at Aurora
Vision Center in Milwaukee.
Braza says more
of his patients are requesting premium intraocular lens, which, unlike
standard lenses, have greater flexibility in correcting specific
vision deficiencies, near-sightedness and far-sighteness.
premium lens is designed for patients with significant astigmatisms
(the inability of the eye to focus sharply on certain objects). The
Toric lens is monocular, correcting the astigmatism with a lens
implant that has a specific power to rectify one vision deficiency,
distance or reading vision.
lens can correct both distance and reading in the same implant. This
works for people who have lesser astigmatisms but not for patients
with major astigmatisms.
lenses have two different visual zones within the lens for distance
and reading. An accommodating lens is a multifocal lens that actually
changes its shape for seeing far and up close as you try to focus,
just like your original natural lens would do. That technology,
however, is still evolving.
to work early, but over time, may not work as well," Braza says.
A lens that
offers a combination of the Toric and multifocal lenses, treating
patients with bigger astigmatisms that can also correct both distance
and reading issues, has been approved in Europe and is pending
approval in the United States.
premium implants are not covered by insurance (standard lens implants
are covered), and out-of-pocket cost ($1,500 for a Toric lens, $2,000
for a multifocal lens) is still a factor. But interest in the new
procedures is growing.
are going up, there are more people finding out about it," Braza
surgery is being done on younger people, who are going in for the
procedure maybe a little earlier because itís such a safe surgery.
Thereís no stitching, no patches. In the old days, youíd wait
until you were almost blind because there was so much risk."
Braza says the
surgery lasts 10 minutes, and patients go home and resume normal
activities the same day.
just amazing how all of this has evolved," he adds.