If you have ever experienced the frustrating symptoms of presbyopia, you can understand why many people seek out treatments to correct it. Now, imagine the combination of presbyopia and cataracts! For millions of people all over the world, this is the reality. Both presbyopia and cataracts are considered common, age-related eye conditions. They can also both greatly impact the everyday lives of those who suffer from them. Fortunately, advancements in technology have led us to some amazing solutions. The newest addition to the TECNIS® family of IOLs, the Symfony IOL, is one of these amazing solutions. The newly approved Symfony IOL was designed to correct presbyopia AND cataracts, all during one surgery!
What is Presbyopia?
Presbyopia is a common refractive error that affects near vision. This vision problem generally presents itself around the age of 40, affecting just about anyone who makes it to their middle age. Unlike other refractive errors, which can happen at any time in life, presbyopia is directly related to middle age. Presbyopia occurs when the natural lens in the eye loses flexibility, and is no longer able to accommodate close-up vision. This makes tasks like reading and doing any detail work very difficult. Presbyopia is generally managed through the use of reading glasses. While reading glasses are useful, most patients find it annoying to constantly reach for them.
What are Cataracts?
Cataracts are another extremely common eye condition. Cataracts affect almost everyone who lives into their 60s or 70s. Cataracts develop very slowly over time, and most people don’t realize they have them until they go in for an eye exam. Cataracts occur when the natural lens in the eye begins to cloud and become foggy. The natural, crystalline lens inside of the eye is made up mostly of water and proteins. As we age, these proteins begin to clump together, creating opacities that make it difficult for light to enter the eye. This process is very slow, but when left untreated cataracts can lead to blindness. Cataracts are only treated through surgery. While this may sound scary, rest assured that cataract surgery is one of the safest and most advanced eye surgeries performed today.
How the Symfony IOL Works
Because both presbyopia and cataracts are conditions that affect the natural lens inside of the eyes, doctors are able to treat them simultaneously! During cataract surgery, the natural lens is removed completely. In order to restore vision, the surgeon must insert an intraocular lens (IOL) in place of the cataract-affected lens. This is where the Symfony IOL comes in! The Symfony IOL is inserted into the eye where your natural lens used to be. The Symfony IOL was designed to act just like your natural lens, except with restored flexibility and clarity. TECNIS® is the first to create an IOL specifically designed for those with presbyopia, as well as other refractive errors like hyperopia. Other IOLs force patients to choose between crisp near, intermediate and distance vision. What makes the Symfony IOL so special is that it delivers sharp vision at every distance! With the Symfony IOL, you no longer have to choose.
If you have cataracts and are interested in the new Symfony IOL, call Whitson Vision today. Set up your cataract surgery consultation and start your journey to clear, crisp vision!
Understanding Premium Lens Implants
In the last ten years cataract surgery has made some tremendous advancements in both the surgical technique and the lens optics portion of vision correction. For the purposes of educating our patients on new lens implant options called premium lens implants we first need to discuss monofocal vs. multifocal implants. Of additional consideration are the new accommodating lens implants known as the Crystalens. This new accommodating lens implant has been widely popular amongst patients as well. Both accommodating IOLs and multifocal IOLs specifically focus on helping patients see at multiple distances instead of one distance like a monofocal IOL.
What is the Difference Between a Monofocal and a Multifocal Intraocular Lens?
A monofocal lens corrects only one distance, so you will still need to wear glasses after the surgery to see at other distances. A multifocal lens can improve your distance, intermediate, and most of your close vision. The purpose of a multifocal lens is to be less dependent on glasses. This multifocal lens does not always guarantee that you will be totally glasses free, but does allow them remarkably improved vision at most distances.