Premium (Custom) Lens Implants
Cataracts — a clouding of the lens that causes blurred vision are often a normal part of aging. Physicians at Houston Ophthalmology Associates remove cataracts in a 10-15 minute procedure that requires no stitches and is pain-free. Most patients experience a rapid return to good vision, with many seeing relatively well without glasses/contacts the day after surgery.
Artificial intraocular lenses, or IOLs, replace the eye’s natural lens that is removed during cataract surgery. IOLs have been around since the mid-1960s, though the first FDA approval for one occurred in 1981. Before that, if you had cataracts removed, you had to wear very thick eyeglasses or special contact lenses in order to see afterward, since the natural lens that had been removed wasn’t replaced with an artificial one.
Premium IOLs: Multifocal & Accommodating
Traditional IOLs are monofocal, meaning they offer vision at one distance only (far, intermediate or near). They definitely are an improvement over the cataractous lens that is replaced during surgery, which provides only cloudy, blurred vision at any distance. But traditional IOLs mean that you must wear eyeglasses or contact lenses in order to read, use a computer or view objects at arm’s length.
The new multifocal and accomodating IOLs such as the Crystalens offer the possibility of seeing well at more than one distance, without glasses or contacts. Examples of multifocal IOLs are different versions of Alcon’s AcrySof IQ ReSTOR. Abbott Medical Optics also offers the Tecnis Multifocal IOL.
Presbyopia correcting IOL s are considered “premium” lenses, which means that you must pay any associated extra cataract surgery costs yourself. Medicare and most health care plans will not cover these extra costs, because the additional benefits of these IOLs are considered a luxury and not a medical necessity.
Toric IOLs for Astigmatism
Toric IOLs designed to correct astigmatism also are considered “premium” lenses, and like multifocal and accommodating IOLs, they will cost you extra because of benefits that are unavailable in conventional IOLs.
The aspheric version of Alcon’s AcrySof IQ Toric IOL is an astigmatism-correcting “premium” intraocular lens. FDA-approved in 1998, the Staar Surgical Intraocular Lens was the first toric IOL available in the United States. The FDA also approved the AcrySof IQ Toric IOL (Alcon) in September Different models of this toric IOL can correct 1.50 to 3.00 D of astigmatism. This lens also is available in aspheric versions for crisper vision. Different models also can filter potentially damaging UV or blue light. Most surgeons who treat astigmatism in their cataract Acrysof Toric IOL patients tend to use astigmatic keratotomy (AK) or limbal relaxing incisions, which involve making incisions in the cornea. But in addition to or even instead of corneal astigmatism, some people may have lenticular astigmatism, caused by irregularity in the shape of the natural lens inside the eye. This can be corrected with a toric IOL. Risks include poor vision due to the lens rotating out of position, with the possibility of further surgery to reposition or replace the IOL.
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If you would like to find out more about this exciting, once in a lifetime opportunity of turning back the clock on your vision, please contact us to see how we can restore your near vision to what it used to be when you were younger. Call us at 281-420-EYES(3937) or Schedule Online