An estimated 20.5 million Americans 40 years or older have cataracts – a clouding of the natural lens that makes it difficult to see clearly. Unlike a standard lens, the Crystalens® treats cataracts while giving the wearer fuller, more natural range of vision.
What is Crystalens?
An artificial lens implant, Crystalens differs from standard intraocular lenses (IOLs) because it can treat cataracts, loss of intermediate and near vision (presbyopia), and other common refractive errors. Presbyopia is a natural part of aging that occurs once you turn 40. Crystalens will not only treat your cataracts, but many patients find they rarely need eyeglasses after the surgery. Cystalens gives you a fuller, more natural range of vision so that you can easily perform activities such as working on the computer, reading a book, and driving a car. Crystalens and Trulign Toric(used to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism) IOLs are the only presbyopia-correcting IOL’s that are currently approved by the FDA. Both of these lenses are manufactured and distributed by Bausch & Lomb.
Accommodation is the process which the eye changes it’s optical or focusing power to produce high-quality vision and images that can be seen at all distances. This is all done through the eye lens and something called the ciliary muscle. The ciliary muscle tightens fibers called zonules which allow the lens to focus for added magnification and clear vision. When we are young, accommodation happens naturally. But as the aging process occurs, the lens becomes less flexible which leads to a loss of nearby vision. This is how Crystalens can help.
What Are the Benefits of Crystalens?
If you suffer from cataracts or presbyopia, Crystalens implants will be especially beneficial for you. The implant helps your eyes focus and reduces your dependency on contacts or prescription glasses.
Approximately 90% see 20/25 at a distance, after surgery
Approximately 95% see 20/20 at an arm’s length after surgery.
Approximately 70% see 20/25 close up after surgery.
Approximately 95% successfully pass their driver’s license eye exam, without prescription glasses or contacts.
Why is Crystalens Different from Other IOLs?
The Crystalens implant differs from other IOLs because it has the unique ability to help your eye use its own muscle to focus on objects at various distances. This gives you sharper vision with no need for corrective lenses — near, far, and all ranges in between. Standard single-vision IOLs do not provide this full range of vision. Most people who have standard IOLs implanted need glasses for near and middle vision.
How Long Will Surgery Take?
Crystalens surgery is an outpatient surgery. Topical numbing eye drops are placed in your eye and your surgeon may give you medication to help you relax. The eye drops will anesthetize your eye and also dilate your pupil. Once you are comfortable, a microscope is positioned over your eye as you look up into the light on the microscope.The surgery should take less than 20 minutes. Your eyes are stabilized with a device that keeps your eyelids open. You will not feel pain, just slight pressure on the eye. When the surgery is completed additional drops are put in your eye to decrease inflammation, prevent infection, and keep your pupil dilated. Your doctor may place a patch over your eye and you will need to have someone drive you home. You should then rest for the rest of the day and avoid all strenuous activities. Your doctor will examine you the day after your surgery and remove the eye patch. Do not rub your eye. Additional medications will be prescribed to put in your eye for a week or two to help it heal with no residual effects.
What Are the Risks of Surgery?
All medical procedures have some risks. The complications of Crystalens surgery range from some minor, most often temporary to sight-threatening. These significant complications are very rare and include hemorrhage, infection, and retinal detachment. If you have preexisting medical conditions such as high blood pressure, diabetes, chronic infections, and chronic inflammatory conditions you may be at higher risk for developing complications. Approximately 98% or those who have the surgery have no complications from the surgery and over 95% have vastly improved vision. Discuss your chances of complications with your eye surgeon.
What Will My Vision Be Like Post-Surgery?
The results of the Crystalens surgical procedure are permanent. Studies show improved distance, intermediate and near vision sustained for more than 7 years after the surgery. Your surgeon will outline what your vision should be like after surgery.
What Makes a Good Crystalens Candidate?
Your eye surgeon will perform a thorough exam to determine if you are a suitable candidate. If you are in good general health you are probably a good candidate for implant surgery. If you have uncontrolled diabetes, a chronic infection, or other health issues, you may need to wait until they are under control before having implant surgery.
People who have had LASIK or corneal refractive surgery are good candidates as long as their eye is healthy. If you have already had cataract surgery you are not a candidate for this procedure. Speak with your doctor to find out more.
TV Actress Florence Henderson Example
Recently, Broadway film and TV actress Florence Henderson was diagnosed with a cataract. Ms. Henderson, perhaps best known for her role as Carol Brady in the iconic television series “The Brady Bunch,” has enjoyed an entertainment career that has spanned five decades. Before the surgery Florence says, “I couldn’t see street signs and my vision at night was not very good at all. Seeing street signs and freeway exit signs was getting to be a problem. Things were blurry and not getting any better. I knew I was going to have to do something. The blurry vision was making me uncomfortable and I started getting eyestrain and some headaches, so I decided I needed to do something about it.” When examined, Florence realized she was a candidate for Crystalens and learned how Crystalens could help her near vision, distance vision, and everything in between. She is doing very well since her surgery.