Patients frequently ask before cataract surgery, "Will I still need to wear glasses after my cataract is removed?"
Multifocal lens implants now allow many patients to see both the distance and near vision after cataract surgery without spectacles. Also, Astigmatic lens implants are helping to reduce astigmatism after cataract surgery, and also reduce dependence on spectacles.
Cataract surgery enables the surgeon to place any type of lens implant of the patients choice. "What kind of vision would you like?" can be answered by the patient and lenses chosen to fit the patients needs. More patients are taking advantage of this opportunity to choose distance vision without correction, while some choose near vision without glasses.
Around age 45 to 50 years old, the human eye loses its capability to shift its focus from the distance to nearer objects. This period of life and beyond is called 'presbyopia,' and requires reading glasses. People with near-sightedness have worn spectacles their entire lives to see in the distance. But being near-sighted, many individuals pass into their late 40's and enjoy reading without glasses. Their 'near-sightedness' has an advantage for near vision.
Presbyopic Lens Implants: Near And Distance Vision
Multifocal lens implants reduce need for reading glasses by providing distance vision with a multifocal magnification built into the lens to also provide near vision. The ReSTOR and ReZoom lens implants provide distance and near vision according to FDA studies.
Multifocal implants aim to overcome presbyopia by providing images of both distance and near objects. Implanting the same lens in each eye is thought to optimize adaptation to the new images these implants provide to the patient. A Medicare ruling on May 3, 2005 allowed patients to cover costs of multifocal implants beyond what Medicare will provide.
Astigmatism often occurs because the front of the eye, or the cornea, has a "football" shape rather than a perfect spherical shape. This shape must be corrected by glasses to improve focusing an image for the patient. Just as spectacles 'treat' astigmatism, we can now surgically improve astigmatism with newer astigmatic lens implants. Surgically reducing astigmatism from the cornea at the time of cataract surgery frequently reduces the need for spectacles for distance vision. Improving uncorrected vision is another boon to patients who prefer to throw away their glasses after cataract surgery.
Astigmatic correction and presbyopia-correcting lens implants are new options for the cataract patient. New frontiers are likely to continue improving uncorrected vision after cataract surgery. With new technology improving every year, patients are enjoying the benefits in their vision.