About Cataract Lenses
During cataract surgery, the lens of the eye must be removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). These IOLs, sometimes called implants, are extremely advanced and are able to take over the function of your natural lens, often improving existing refractive errors as well. Before your cataract surgery, you will have consultation appointments at one of our state-of-the-art offices in Providence, Warwick, North Kingstown, Johnston, Woonsocket, or Wakefield, RI. These consultations with an experienced ophthalmologist will focus on the stage of your cataracts, your general eye health and vision, and your day-to-day activities, all of which will help determine the type of IOL to be used for your surgery. Koch Eye Associates has a highly skilled, experienced team of surgeons, and our main goal is always to improve our patients’ quality of life. If you have cataracts and have been considering cataract surgery, make an appointment at one of our Rhode Island offices to see how we can help you overcome your condition.
Cataract Lens Options
Koch Eye Associates provides monofocal, multifocal, toric, and accommodating IOLs for our cataract surgery patients. The type used for your surgery will be determined based on information gathered during your comprehensive evaluation and examination.
Monofocal IOLs are the most commonly used. They are designed to provide clear vision at one focal distance, either far away, mid-distance, or close up. Most patients choose IOLs designed for clear distance vision and then use reading glasses as necessary.
Toric IOLs are specially designed for patients with both cataracts and astigmatism. They are able to correct astigmatism in much the same way that toric contact lenses do. Like monofocal IOLs, they can also correct either near or far vision, but not both.
Multifocal IOLs are designed to provide clearer distance and close-up vision at the same time. They are able to do this via different “zones” that can be set at different strengths, depending on your refractive error. Multifocal IOLs can reduce a patient’s need for glasses, but they do not completely correct vision.
Tecnis® Multifocal Lens
This advanced IOL significantly improves vision after cataract surgery and corrects presbyopia, a common age-related condition that begins around the age of 40 when the natural lens inside the eye begins to harden and becomes less flexible. This reduces the eye's ability to switch focus from near, far, in between, and back again.
The multifocal lens implant helps replace reading glasses or bifocals. This lens lets patients see in the distance and then immediately look down and read without needing to use either distance or reading glasses. The eye automatically focuses from far to near and back again immediately, and as often as needed.
Immediately after surgery, some patients may notice rings around lights when driving at night. However, as the eye adjusts to the lens over time, the visual impression of rings typically lessens or goes away. Most patients don't comment on them at all. A patient wanting to enjoy freedom from glasses after cataract surgery might be a good candidate for the multifocal lens.
Accommodating IOLs are designed for cataract patients who also have presbyopia to reduce their dependence on reading glasses. They can "flex" within the eye using the eye's natural muscles to focus at various distances.
Crystalens is an accommodating intraocular lens that can treat both cataracts and presbyopia. The unique Crystalens can reduce or eliminate glasses for most activities, including reading a book, working on the computer, and driving a car.
Crystalens was modeled after the human eye. Like the natural lens, it uses the eye muscle to flex and accommodate in order to focus on objects in the environment at all distances. Crystalens dynamically adjusts to your visual needs.
- The first and only FDA-approved accommodating intraocular lens
- The only FDA-approved intraocular lens that uses the natural focusing ability of the eye
- The only FDA-approved presbyopia-correcting IOL for cataract patients that provides a single focal point throughout a continuous range of vision
Few patients with Crystalens have experienced problems with glare, halos, and night vision. Crystalens focuses only on one image to the back of the eye, unlike a multifocal lens, which projects multiple images, requiring your brain to “adjust” to the differences.
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"I first went to Koch Eye many years ago after being referred there for a follow up appointment after being treated at the emergency room for an eye injury, That was the only time I actually saw Dr. Koch himself (who was very nice by the way) It is only in the last few years (since my old lady eyes have begun to need reading glasses) that I have come in regularly for my eye exam and glasses prescription. I never have any problem with wait time because there are several optometrists. Really the only thing I am not crazy about is their hours. I wish it was possible to get an evening appointment or that there was an occasional Saturday. The office staff is pleasant and courteous"- I.C. / Yelp / May 09, 2019
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Choosing your lenses
While your surgeon will ultimately choose the IOLs to be used as your replacement lenses, you, of course, have important input. During all of your pre-surgical consultations and exams, our specialists will be gathering all the information they need about your vision and eye health. We will determine your specific refractive error (if any) and whether you have astigmatism in the eye to be treated. We will also discuss the activities of your daily routine and your primary vision goals (such as being able to read vs. drive without glasses). Based on all of this information, you and your surgeon will decide together which IOL is best for you. If you are having cataract surgery in both eyes, it is even possible that your surgeon may recommend different IOL types in each eye.
What to Expect
You cataract surgery will be performed at the St. James Surgery Center in Warwick, RI. Prior to your cataract surgery, we will thoroughly describe your reasonable expectations for how much your vision will improve due to your new lens or lenses. Every patient is different, and everyone will have slightly different outcomes based on their beginning vision and their lens choices. However, most patients are very pleased with the success of their cataract surgery, many times experiencing better vision than they’ve had in years, or ever. The results of cataract surgery are permanent; your new artificial lens cannot degrade the way your natural lens did. However, it is important to know that in some cases, posterior capsular opacification (PCO) can occur at some point after your surgery. This is also known as “secondary cataract” and is when the capsule that holds and supports the lens begins to cloud, which can seem like the cataract is returning. A PCO can be easily and safely removed with a simple YAG laser procedure.
more than you bargain for
Getting a replacement artificial lens may seem like the most intimidating part of cataract surgery, but it is also the most beneficial. Not only are you receiving a brand new, non-degradable clear lens, but you are also getting a lens that can reduce or correct your refractive vision errors. At Koch Eye Associates, we fully believe that good vision is directly related to good quality of life, and we encourage you to seek treatment for cataracts if you have not already. Call or visit any one of our Rhode Island facilities to take your first step to a brand new start.