Patients who are undergoing cataract surgery and who have nearsightedness or farsightedness can usually have these distortions corrected by a standard cataract procedure with implantation of a standard "monofocal" IOL and achieve good distance vision without glasses. Additionally, standard IOLs do not address the need for reading glasses that until now, most patients required following cataract surgery.
Custom Cataract Surgery refers to not only removing the cataract, but also performing additional procedures at the time of cataract surgery and/or replacing the cataract with an IOL that can reduce the dependence on glasses or bifocals.
For most cataract patients, life without reading glasses or bifocals is something they either experienced when they were very young or they just dreamed about for most of their lives. Now, surgical procedures and IOLs have taken a giant leap forward. No longer is the objective simply to correct your distance vision with a monofocal lens. Today, the goal is to enhance your vision with Custom Cataract Surgery that can provide you with decreased dependency on glasses or bifocals.
The vast majority of patients who chose Custom Cataract Surgery report they can read a book, work on a computer, drive a car - day and night - and play golf or tennis with an increased freedom from glasses. Although learning you have a cataract can cause concern, once you understand how your vision may be improved, you may actually have reason to be excited.
The two conditions that Custom Cataract Surgery address are presbyopia and astigmatism.
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Presbyopia is a condition that most people over the age of 40 experience that results in difficulty seeing up close without the aid of bifocals, trifocals, or reading glasses. This age-related condition is believed to be caused by a hardening of the lens inside the eye, making it difficult for the eye's muscles to change its focus.
Likewise, patients who undergo cataract surgery and who receive standard monofocal IOLs will realize "instant presbyopia" because these IOLs focus at only one distance. These patients will likely still need glasses for intermediate and near vision. However, by choosing Custom Cataract Surgery with a presbyopia correcting IOL, patients will likely realize a marked decrease in dependency on glasses, contact, or bifocals at all distances.
If you are considering cataract surgery, you may be a candidate for Custom Cataract Surgery with a presbyopia correcting IOL that can provide a full range of vision. This means that you can read and see clearly in the distance and everything in-between, with little or no dependence on bifocals, trifocals, or contact lenses. It's almost like having a bifocal or progressive lens inside your eye.
Depending on the technological features of these IOLs, they may be described as "Accommodating IOLs," "Apodized-diffractive IOLs," or "Multifocal IOLs." Each of these lenses has some advantages and disadvantages. Which one is best for you depends on the unique characteristics of your eye as well as your lifestyle needs. You and your doctor will decide together which lens is more advantageous for you.
Sometimes, the surface of the cornea is curved more like a football, with both flatter and steeper curves. When the surface of the cornea has an uneven curvature, vision becomes distorted. This common irregularity, called a "corneal astigmatism," causes blurred or distorted vision because light rays are not focused at one spot to provide clear vision.
A person who has both a cataract and a corneal astigmatism will not regain high-quality distance vision after surgery to remove the cataract unless the astigmatism is also corrected.
There are several surgical options your surgeon may choose to treat astigmatism, such as LASIK laser vision correction, astigmatic keratotomy (AK), or limbal relaxing incisions (LRI). However, if you are planning to have surgery to remove a cataract, you now have an additional option, an implantable lens that makes it possible to treat the cataract and correct the corneal astigmatism at the same time. Your surgeon will recommend the option that is best for you.
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