Multifocal lens implant (IOL), presbyopia, cataract surgery - A State of Sight #3

Lens implants from cataract surgery can give a full range of vision from up close to far away. Isaac Porter, MD explains how our eyes focus and new technology that can reduce the need to wear glasses for distance and near vision. Age related focus dysfunction (presbyopia) affects everyone beginning around age 45 and causes difficulty reading. This may be corrected with reading glasses or bifocals, but now when patients need to have cataract surgery, they have lens options that can reduce this need for reading correction.

Welcome to A State of Sight, I’m your host, Isaac Porter from Lowry Porter Ophthalmology and this is your update in ophthalmology and eye care. In our last episodes of A State of Sight, we brought you details about cataract surgery. Today, I want to tell you why it’s a great time to have cataract surgery because now we have a solution for a long standing eye problem and now we have a great way to deal with it.

As many of you  who are over the age of 45 know, your eye can not focus as well as it did previously. The way most people notice this at first is having difficulty reading at a comfortable distance, they will have to push things out further and further in order to see it more clearly.

Eventually this gets to a point when the reading distance becomes more difficult and people have to use a pair of reading glasses or a bifocal in their glasses in order to see up close. The medical term for this is presbyopia or age related focus dysfunction and now we can fix that with a multifocal lens implant placed at the time of cataract surgery.

This is the actual size of the lens implant that we put in the eye. You can’t see it on this video because it’s so small, but it’s smaller than the fingernail of my small finger.

This larger model will give you an idea of how the lens implant works. The central part is the lens which helps focus light in the eye. These arms that come out of the side stabilize the lens inside the eye.

Now engineers, much more intelligent than me, have devised a way to put rings of different powers on to the lens implant in order to give patients a full range of vision from up close to far away. These rings alternate one to the next with focusing for distance, the other focusing for near. The result allows patients to have freedom from glasses most of the time.

There is a small trade off where some people have trouble in low light or dim light situations and need more light to see clearly. Some people will notice glare or halos around headlights and streetlights at night.

All in all, I think this is great technology and an answer to a problem that we have had for a long time. The two main lenses you may hear about that are being used today as multifocal lenses are the Restor lens and the Tecnis multifocal.

Thanks again for joining on A State of Sight. Again, we hope to have a discussion, please leave your comments and questions below. Until next time, good health and good sight.