Dr. Jeffrey Maehara has led the way by bringing premium lens technology to Hawaii. He was the first physician to implant the Acrysof ReStor and Acrysof Toric lenses in Hawaii.
During cataract surgery, artificial lenses are implanted in the eye to replace the cloudy natural lenses. These artificial lenses, known as intraocular lenses (IOLs), were once only able to correct distance vision, leaving patients dependent on eyeglasses or contact lenses for near vision. Many cataract patients, in addition to suffering from either nearsightedness or farsightedness, also suffer from presbyopia, natural changes to the eyes that occur as we age.
Before premium lenses, patients were unable to see clearly at both near and far distances without the use of eyeglasses or contact lenses. Early lens implants were monofocal, meaning that they had only one focal point and could not adjust to varying distances.
New advances in technology have allowed for the development of multifocal IOLs, which let patients see clearly at all distances, and can even correct astigmatism as well. Premium lens implants are ideal for cataract patients who are also suffering from presbyopia and want a replacement lens that provides a full range of clear vision.
There are several different types of premium lens implants available for cataract patients. Your doctor will work with you to decide which lens is best for your individual eyes to help you enjoy long-lasting, clear vision at near, intermediate, and far distances. To speak with one of our doctors and discuss your options for cataract replacement lenses, please call us today to schedule a consultation.
How do I know that I am a Candidate for a Premium Lens?
Your doctor performs a comprehensive exam and diagnostic testing to ensure that you're a good candidate for cataract surgery. During your initial consultation and exam, your doctor will dilate your eyes to examine all parts, including your retina and optic nerve. If you could benefit from cataract removal, they'll also discuss with you the various options you have for lens replacement, including standard lenses and premium lenses. During this conversation, you can expect to receive the detailed information that you need to determine which approach you want to take for correcting your vision.
Is a Premium Lens Covered by Insurance?
Most insurance companies cover at least a portion of cataract-related services because it is medically necessary to remove the clouded lens that is obscuring vision. That said, the amount of insurance coverage can vary from one plan to another. Your insurance may cover the cost of some diagnostic testing and the office fees for your comprehensive eye exam. The cataract surgery itself may be covered, as well as the eye drops you'll need after the procedure. Where coverage may end is at the line of a premium intraocular lens. Historically, insurance only approves the cost of a monofocal lens. Financing may be available for the remainder of costs that aren't covered by insurance.
How Long Does a Premium Lens Last after Cataract Removal Surgery?
Your new lens is implanted into the natural membrane that held your cataract-laden lens. This pocket of tissue is clear and should remain so indefinitely. The same is true of your intraocular lens. It will not break down over time the way a natural lens can. It will not change shape or become clouded. Your premium intraocular lens is expected to last forever.
Will My Vision Change at Some Point after Getting a Premium Lens?
Intraocular lenses are made from ultra-thin, ultra-durable material. This new lens is not susceptible to the same degradation as your eye's natural lens. Therefore, you can expect your vision to remain consistently clear and sharp even as you age.
What are the Benefits of Getting a Premium Intraocular Lens?
You may choose to receive a premium lens instead of a standard lens for the simple reason that you'd like to not have to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses anymore. In addition to this benefit, premium IOLs offer others, including:
- Sharper vision. Having cataracts removed is like cleaning a dirty window. You get to enjoy the true vibrancy of colors once again! Still, the premium IOL is distinctly customized to enhance visual definition, returning you to high-definition eyesight.
- Clear vision at all distances. Your premium multifocal lens frees you from the burden of eyeglasses because it adjusts light in ways that enable you to read a book, read your computer screen, or see objects far away.
- Correction of astigmatism. One area that the premium IOL shines is in its ability to correct astigmatism, even in more severe cases. Standard IOLs cannot do this.
- Reclaim your active lifestyle! It isn't only cataracts that can diminish your ability to engage in your favorite activities. If you have to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, you might also not see as clearly as you'd like, especially when engaging in outdoor activities or sports. Your premium IOL, built for definition and multiple distances, is made for an active life!
Alcon® Toric IOLs
Alcon® Toric IOLs are used as a replacement lens in cataract surgery for patients with astigmatism. In addition to replacing the cloudy lens affected by cataracts, Toric IOLs correct astigmatism as well as nearsightedness or farsightedness. This lens also features an advanced aspheric option that improves image quality and increases contrast sensitivity. The Toric IOLs are a light yellow color that helps filter out blue light without affecting the color or quality of the patient’s vision.
Although Toric IOLs are not accommodating and may still require eyeglasses or contacts to be worn, they offer many advantages to patients with astigmatism. Most patients report a high level of satisfaction with the Toric IOL lens, as it is the only lens to effectively treat astigmatism in cataract patients.
AcrySof ReSTOR® Lens
Traditionally, when a cataract develops, the eye lens is replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). The lens is usually focused for distance vision, requiring that the patient need to wear reading glasses or contact lenses to focus in on nearer objects.
Through recent advancements in lens technology, an IOL is now available that can provide the patient with a greater range of vision while reducing the need for glasses and contacts. The ReSTOR intraocular lens provides a full range of functional vision for patients that desire a significant decrease in their dependence on glasses or contacts.
How ReSTOR® Works?
ReSTOR, short for AcrySof ReSTOR Apodized Diffractive Optic Posterior Intraocular Lens, replaces the natural lens removed because of cataracts. It has a patented optic design that combines apodized diffraction and refraction technologies for quality vision at both near and far distances. The apodized diffractive optic design gives it the ability to focus light correctly on the retina for images at various distances without mechanical movement of the lens.
Apodization is the gradual reduction or blending of the diffractive steps from the center to the outside edge of a lens; it creates a smooth transition of light between the distant, intermediate, and near focal points. Diffraction involves the bending or spreading of light to multiple focal points as it passes through the lens. The center of the ReSTOR lens surface consists of an apodized diffractive optic. This means that the series of tiny steps in the center area work together to focus light for near through distant vision.
Refraction involves the redirection of light passing through the lens to focus on the retina. The refractive region of the ReSTOR lens bends light to a focal point on the retina. This outer region – surrounding the apodized diffraction center – focuses light for distant vision.
Candidates for ReSTOR® Lenses
Anyone who is dependent on reading glasses or bifocals may be a candidate for ReSTOR implant surgery. Although ReSTOR lenses were originally designed for patients with cataracts, having cataracts is not necessary to qualify for the ReSTOR lens; you only need a desire to restore eyesight at a range of distances without corrective eyewear. People with chronic infections, uncontrolled diabetes, or other health problems may have to wait until these conditions are under control prior to surgery.
Risks and Complications
As with any surgery, ReSTOR lens surgery has potential complications. The most common side effects of all cataract procedures include redness, irritation, light sensitivity, and infection. These risks, however, are rare and are often outweighed by the potential benefits of restoring your vision.
Complications specific to ReSTOR lenses may include glare, blurred vision, and rings around lights. These side effects may make it more difficult to see while driving at night and to complete other tasks in areas with low lighting.