There are several types of lenses used during cataract surgery. For the most part, I use an AcrySof® monofocal lens from Alcon or a TECNIS® IOL from Abbott. These lenses allow each eye to be in focus at one distance -- near, intermediate, or far. Most people choose to have both eyes set for distance and use reading glasses for computer and near work.
Sometimes, I will place a lens in one eye which makes distance vision in focus and a lens in the other eye for near or computer. Most often, patients who have this wore contact lenses and are accustomed to this type of vision.
These lenses correct two different distances at the same time. Usually, it is distance and near or distance and computer range. There can be worse glare and haloes and less crisp vision with these lenses compared to the monofocal lenses, but the trade-off is less time needing glasses throughout the day.
There is multifocal lens called the TECNIS® Multifocal. This lens works best at distance and near reading.
There is also a lens called the ReSTOR®. There are two strengths of the ReSTOR® lens. One allows distance and close reading (11-12 inches away), and the other one corects for distance and slightly less close reading (16-20 inches away).
Although there is some trade off in maximal vision at near, intermediate, or far for both of these lenses, these lenses help patients become relatively free of glasses for most daily tasks. You may still need a glasses prescription for night driving or other visually intensive tasks. I am happy to put in either of these lenses if desired. Because of the technology used to create these lenses and the extra tests both before and after surgery, there is an additional charge for using the multifocal lenses.
There are some lenses on the market and lenses being developed which should allow the eye to focus up close like when we were young kids. I do not implant these lenses, but I will once I am convinced that the technology is good enough and long term functioning seems reasonable. I am fairly certain that if a very good accommodative lens were available, every cataract surgeon including me would implant this type of lens. Right now, the main Accommodative lens being inserted is the Crystalens®.
Alcon also makes a lens called the AcrySof®Toric which helps correct astigmatism. Like with the multifocal lenses, there is an extra charge for using these lenses.
Mark J. Fritz, MD212 N. Larkin Ave. Joliet, IL 60435815-741-0666
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