The lens of your eye is an important structure. In order to see clearly at all distances (from up close to far away), your eye must be able to change its focus power. The lens of your eye is responsible for this change in focus—it changes its shape to bring whatever you’re looking at into clear focus. In your early 40’s, you start to lose the ability to see up close and require bifocals, or at least reading glasses. This is because, as we age, the lens hardens and cannot change its shape anymore, and in order to focus at different distances, more than one glasses prescription is required.
As we age even more, the lens becomes cloudy. This cloudiness of the lens is called a cataract. Cataract is a common problem among aging Americans, and cataract surgery is the most common surgery performed on adults in the United States. In cataract surgery, the cloudy lens is removed. In order for you to see clearly afterward, a new lens (called an intraocular lens implant, or IOL) must be inserted at the time of surgery.
Selecting the right implant for your eye is very important for your vision after surgery. Your doctor will take measurements before your surgery to determine how strong your lens is, so an implant with the same strength can be put in during the surgery. If you wear glasses, the implant strength can be adjusted to replace both your lens and your glasses.
Like your aging lens, the implant cannot change its shape to help you see both up close and off at a distance. But several options are available to help you minimize—or even eliminate—your need for any type of glasses after cataract surgery.
For instance, your doctor may place implants in your eyes with the appropriate strength for you to see well at a distance, and you can wear reading glasses when you want to see up close, such as for reading.
Another option is for your doctor to select the implant strength for you to see clearly off at a distance for one eye, and a different strength—the one for up close—for your other eye, so that you can see clearly at all distances without glasses after surgery. This works well for most people, but some people have trouble with depth perception when their two eyes are focused at different distances.
In recent years, several types of toric, bifocal and/or multifocal implants have been developed. These lenses allow you to see clearly at a variety of distances, effectively eliminating the need for glasses. Several manufacturers, including Alcon, Advanced Medical Optics, and Eyeonics, have recently received approval from the FDA for new technology multi-focal lenses following cataract surgery. It should be noted, however, that multi-focal lens technology is evolving rapidly and patients are encouraged to consult with their doctor about these offerings. Also, this technology is relatively expensive and is considered elective by Medicare and most insurance companies, thus the difference in price between a standard cataract IOL and the new technology must be paid by the patient.
Talk with your doctor about the various types of implants available, and their effects on your vision after surgery. You and your doctor will develop a plan that pairs you with the best type of implants for your eyes and your vision needs. The Acrysoft IQ ReSTOR® Multifocal Implant is an example of the newest technology implants that help you to focus more clearly at distances, intermediate and near distances with less dependence on glasses or in many cases, eliminating your need for glasses all together.
The Acrysoft IQ ReSTOR® is a multifocal (multiple focus points) one piece implant which bends the incoming light in a controlled way, allowing you to see at multiple distances. utilizes three different optical techniques (apodized diffractive, refractive and aspheric) in order to achieve this goal.
Apodized Diffractive Technology
Diffraction: The spreading of light that occurs when light passes through discontinuities (i.e., the steps or edges of a lens). In an optical system, light can be diffracted to form multiple focal points or images. involves the spreading of light as it passes through a lens. You'll notice that, on the AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL, the center of the lens surface consists of a series of tiny rings – this is known as an apodized diffractive optic.
Apodization: The gradual reduction or blending of varying diffractive step heights. The application of apodization to intraocular lenses is a patented process by Alcon and can only be found in the AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL. is the gradual tapering of different diffractive levels (or "steps") on a lens, creating a smooth transition of light between distant, intermediate and near focal points. This means is that the series of tiny steps in the center of the AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL work together to focus light, providing excellent near vision: The range of vision that includes focal points 16 inches or closer to your eyes. Items that typically fall within this range include books, newspapers and medicine bottles. Also known as "reading vision.", intermediate vision: The range of vision that includes focal points between 16 inches and 7 feet away from your eyes. Items that typically fall within this range include computer screens and car dashboards. and distance vision: The range of vision that includes focal points 7 feet or further from your eyes. Items that typically fall within this range include billboards, street signs and movie screens.
Refraction: Redirection of light rays as they pass through a lens involves the redirection of light as it passes through a lens. The outer ring of the AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL is a refractive region designed for excellent distance vision. This refractive area bends light as it passes through the lens, accurately focusing it on the retina: The transmitter located at the back of your eye that sends the images to your brain. for a crisp, clear image.
Even healthy eyes still contain some imperfections, or "aberrations." Spherical aberration: An irregularity in the shape of the lens. As the eye ages, the lens gets thicker and rounder, causing image quality to deteriorate. Often associated with loss of contrast sensitivity and poor night vision., a type of imperfection common to cataract patients, can eventually lead to a reduction in visual acuity and function. Thankfully, with the addition of a proven aspheric optic: A type of lens designed to compensate for spherical aberration, resulting in improved image quality., the AcrySof® IQ ReSTOR® IOL can correct for these spherical aberrations, leading to enhanced clarity.
Astigmatism-correcting lenses such as AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL, are for patients with existing corneal astigmatism. Similar to monofocal lenses, these lenses usually give patients quality distance vision with less dependence on glasses. Most patients will still need to wear glasses for tasks such as reading or working at a computer.
Consult Dr. Mark Oberlander at Eye Associates of Pinellas to determine which implant would better serve your visual needs and lifestyle.
Click the Videos below to learn more about ReSTOR®