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The Most Accurate Vision Possible
We use the following lenses to give you the best result:
- Multifocals minimize any need for glasses
- Toric will correct astigmatism
- Standard intraocular lenses are single focus for basic corrections.
If you need cataract surgery, you may have heard about intraocular lenses. You may be wondering what they are and what type of lens implant will work best for you. When you make an appointment with Dr. Hendrix in St. George UT, your specific health questions will be answered and you will be guided as to what lenses are right for your situation.
In the meantime, here is a general overview of intraocular lenses and the factors to consider when choosing one, including your lifestyle, your occupation, and your willingness to wear glasses or contacts after surgery.
What Is An Intraocular Lens?
In order to combat the need for very thick glasses or special contacts after cataract surgery, intraocular lenses were developed. An intraocular lens is an artificial lens that replaces the one that is removed from the eye during cataract surgery. It works just like the original lens in that it focuses light onto the retina of the eye, helping you to see clearly. Just like the refraction exam that is done to determine the right power for your contacts or glasses, you will also be assessed to determine the right power for your intraocular lens.
Sometimes the situation arises where a person only needs to have surgery on one eye for cataracts. If an intraocular lens were not implanted, the person would require one very thick lens in a pair of glasses and a thinner lens in the other. Implanting an intraocular lens in the eye that needs surgery addresses this issue.
Intraocular lenses also have filters built in to protect the eyes from UV rays and other factors. It is important to discuss these filters with Dr. Hendrix to ensure the correct ones are chosen for your situation. Once cataract surgery is completed, it takes about six to twelve weeks for vision to be fully corrected. During this time, the eyes are healing and the brain is adapting to the new signals.
Dr. Hendrix in St. George UT Helps You Find the Right Lens
As you work with Dr. Hendrix in St. George UT, you will discern which type of intraocular lens is right for you. Some of this will depend on how comfortable you are with wearing glasses or contacts after your surgery and the requirements of your occupation and hobbies.
Let’s examine the three types of intraocular lenses: single focus, multifocal, and toric.
Single Focus Lenses
Single focus lenses are also called monofocal lenses. They have been the standard for years to correct for near, intermediate, or distance vision. A person has three choices when using single focus intraocular lenses:
- Correct for near vision so that you can do near vision tasks without glasses or contacts. You will need to wear glasses or contacts to see things at a distance. This correction can be beneficial for those whose hobbies or work require them to do near vision tasks on a regular basis.
- Correct for distance vision so that you can see things at a distance without glasses or contacts. You will need to wear glasses or contacts for reading and other up close tasks. This correction can be beneficial for those whose hobbies or work require them to do distance vision tasks on a regular basis.
- Correct with monovision. Each of us has a dominant eye that the brain uses to see at a distance and a non-dominant eye to see things up close. Effectively the brain read the signals from each eye separately and uses the correct eye to do the appropriate task. The brain is also able to mesh the signals to see at intermediate distances. Some people choose to correct their dominant eye for distance and their non-dominant eye for near vision. If you are considering going with monovision, you may be able to try this with contact lenses first to see how you will adjust to correcting the eyes in this manner. This correction can be beneficial to those who do a variety of near and distance vision tasks.
Multifocal lenses are also called accommodative lenses. They are a newer type of lens created to address near, intermediate, and distance vision all at the same time. Multifocal lenses have the following characteristics:
- As with a progressive lens, as multifocal lens uses different zones to focus light for near, intermediate, or distance vision.
- This lens is designed so that eye muscles are able to move the lens forward or backward in the eye to focus, just like it would with a natural lens.
- This lens may or may not prevent the need for glasses for certain tasks. This is dependent upon each person.
- The occurrence of glare and halos around lights may be higher with these lenses. Some people can adapt to these factors while others have more difficulty, especially driving at night.
- Vision may not be as sharp as it would be with single vision lenses. This can become a problem for people with hobbies or occupations where very clear vision is a must.
Multifocal lenses may eliminate the need for glasses all-together. Again, this depends on the individual.
Toric lenses are single focus lenses used to correct astigmatism. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea of the eye is shaped like a football rather than being round and smooth. This causes vision to be distorted and blurry. Those with significant astigmatism will benefit from single focus toric lenses.
One treatment option to help with astigmatism involves making small incisions in the cornea. These are called limbal relaxing incisions and can be done at the same time as cataract surgery. They allow the cornea to become more round and smooth.
What Age Requirements Are There For Intraocular Lens Surgery?
Intraocular lenses are approved by the FDA for people 18 years of age and older. If a doctor deems the use necessary for those under the age of 18, this is considered using the product off label. This can be done on an individual basis after careful examination of the patient’s special situation and discussion of all of the options available with the parents.
According to the American Academy for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus, about 3 in 10,000 children have a cataract. This can occur during pregnancy and although the reason is sometimes not clear, it is often genetic. Children can also develop cataracts as they grow older. It is important to correct blurriness due to cataracts because the brain is developing at this time and is registering what the child is seeing. If the child is seeing incorrectly he or she will likely develop amblyopia (also called lazy eye) in which the brain and the eye are not working together properly.
Generally, intraocular lenses are not recommended for children under 1-year-old. This is because:
- The eye is still developing and it is difficult to know how the child’s eyes will change in the future.
- General anesthesia is required.
- Children’s eyes may develop inflammation after implantation of an intraocular lens, requiring further surgery.
- Glaucoma is more common in children after cataract surgery.
In these cases, glasses or contacts may be an option, while waiting for the child’s eyes to develop further. However, when surgery is necessary to preserve a child’s vision, an intraocular lens may be the best choice.
Intraocular Lenses In Summary
In some cases, after cataract surgery, further vision correction is necessary. This may also involve changing out an intraocular lens at some point. If you have previously had LASIK surgery you need to be evaluated very carefully to make sure the corrective lens is the right one according to your previous surgery.
If you are seeking cataract surgery, do not hesitate to contact the office of Dr. Hendrix in St. George UT to discuss your specific needs. Dr. Hendrix specializes in advanced cataract surgery using the new laser-assisted surgery system, management of pediatric amblyopia and strabismus, geriatric ophthalmology, and LASIK surgery.