What are Premium Intraocular Lenses?
Intraocular lenses (IOL) are small artificial lenses for the eye, typically replacing damaged lenses that have been removed during cataract surgery. There are several different types of intraocular lenses available to patients in Shreveport depending on the individual’s needs:
- Monofocal intraocular lenses are tuned to only focus on a short, medium, or long range distance.
- Multifocal intraocular lenses are tuned to focus on both short and long range distances, using different regions of the lens that must be focused on by the patient.
- Accommodative, or premium, intraocular lenses are able to move and change shape within the eye to allow for a more natural visual experience that the patient is used to.
Additionally, there are also different specialized types of intraocular lenses for patients who have other vision problems that can be corrected while operating on cataracts:
- What is known as a “toric lens” that can be specially developed by an ophthalmologist to correct refractive errors from astigmatism.
- Phakic intraocular lenses are able to correct nearsightedness, though this lens is placed behind the cornea to assist rather than replacing the entire lens.
- Through recent developments, aspheric intraocular lenses are slightly flatter on the edges, which allow the eye to distinguish shades of light and dark and see better at night.
Intraocular Lens Statistics
- The American Academy of Ophthalmology reports that nearly 22 million Americans over age 40 suffer from this condition, with cataracts affecting more than half of all Americans over age 80.
- The American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) report that 3 million people undergo cataract surgery in the US each year.
- Of those millions of surgeries, 98 percent or more are successful, and 5% free of any serious complications.
- After receiving cataract surgery and while incorporating intraocular lenses, 88 percent of patients had 20/25 or better vision, 63 percent had 20/20 or better vision, and 53 percent had better than 20/20 vision.
- An Australian study showed a clear link between cataract surgery using intraocular lenses and a reduced incidence of car accidents – by up to 13%.
How cataract surgery with an intraocular lens is performed:
In most cases, the doctor should be able perform intraocular lens surgery at a local Shreveport facility in less than an hour, though the benefits will last a lifetime. Before the surgery, patients will receive general or local anesthesia. Once they are comfortable, the ophthalmologist will remove the eye’s natural lens. The methods for removing the damaged lens vary:
- Phacoemulsification: This technique is the most common method of lens removal. The surgeon will create two small incisions between the cornea and the white of the eye. A tiny probe will go inside these incisions, emitting ultrasound waves until the lens breaks apart without damage to the surrounding tissues. The doctor can then gently suction out the damaged lens before placing the new intraocular lens behind the iris.
- Standard extracapsular cataract extraction (ECCE): Your doctor will make a small incision between the cornea and the white of the eye, removing the damaged lens and replacing it with an intraocular lens.
- Laser-assisted surgery: During laser-assisted surgery, the doctor will make incisions using highly precise lasers, further reducing the already low risks of cataract surgery.
After Effects / Results
The recovery time for intraocular lens surgery is relatively short. In most circumstances, patients should be able to resume some normal activities within a day of surgery; however, undertaking any strenuous activity in the first few weeks may cause blood pressure to rise, possibly causing adverse side effects – including blindness. It could take about six months to reach optimal vision correction.
Intraocular lenses are currently the only viable long-term treatment for cataracts. Although complications are rare, there are certain risks associated with intraocular lens surgery. Even three of the “most common” risks of cataract surgery are quite rare:
- Posterior capsule opacity (PCO), or secondary cataracts, occurs in about 20 percent of all cataract surgery patients. Doctors can treat PCO with a YAG laser capsulotomy. This procedure is also very safe.
- Retinal detachment is the most common risk. Several studies indicate that there is a 1 percent risk of retinal detachment for all cataracts patients. If you have a YAG laser capsulotomy, the risk rises to 2 percent.
- A detached or misplaced IOL is another risk of cataract surgery. The surgeon can easily replace or reposition the IOL during a second surgery. The Mayo Clinic Conducted a study, looking at 14,000 cataract surgeries performed between January 1980 and May 2009. Researchers concluded that the risk of late IOL detachment is extremely low. After 10 years, the risk is 0.1 percent. After 20 years, there is a 0.7 percent risk, and after 25 years the risk rises to 1.7 percent.