New Implantable Lenses Can Reduce The Need For Glasses After Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery involves
removing a clouded natural lens from inside the eye and replacing it with a
plastic one. While the operation itself hasn’t changed much over recent
years, the plastic lenses have. The biggest advantage of the newer lenses
is their ability to reduce the need for glasses after surgery, says a newly
updated report from Harvard Medical School.

The Aging Eye: Preventing and Treating Eye Disease explains that the
older types of plastic lenses help people see well at one distance — be it
close up, far away, or at a medium distance. Two newer types of lenses,
accommodating and multifocal, let the eye focus at varying distances, so
fewer patients need glasses for reading or distance vision.

The accommodating intraocular lens has hinges on its sides that permit
it to move as the eye’s ciliary muscle contracts or relaxes. This improves
the ability to change focus from near to far. The multifocal intraocular
lens uses a new type of refractive technology to provide focus for multiple
distances. This type has either small, concentric circular ridges that
permit the eye to change its range of focus or broad zones to provide near,
intermediate, and distance vision.

Insurers may not cover these newer lenses, and some people cannot
receive them because of other medical issues. The most common problems with
the newer lenses are glare, halos, and the continued need for eyeglasses.

Harvard Health Publications