Cataracts are a common eye disorder that can cause vision problems. They develop over time and are often associated with aging, diabetes and smoking. Surgery is the only proven treatment for cataracts, but it may not be right for everyone. Depending on your other health issues, nonsurgical treatments might help you manage symptoms until you can have cataract surgery.
IC-8 Apthera IOL
The latest treatment for cataracts is a new, non-toric, extended depth of focus IOL called the IC-8 Apthera IOL. It was developed by ophthalmic device firm AcuFocus and is the first of its kind approved for use in people with corneal astigmatism of 1.5 diopters (D) or greater.
This small-aperture IOL uses a pinhole design that increases depth of focus and decreases blurring. It also filters out peripheral defocused light to improve near and intermediate vision.
In a study, patients with IC-8 Apthera IOLs reported better near and intermediate visual acuity than a control group that received monofocal or monofocal toric IOLs in both eyes. They also had similar distance vision and contrast sensitivity to the control group, according to an FDA release.
During surgery, the natural lens of your eye is removed and replaced with an artificial or intraocular lens (IOL). Until now, most cataract patients received a monofocal IOL. However, the IC-8 Apthera IOL has the potential to change the way cataract surgeries are performed.
The IC-8 Apthera IOL is a one-piece, small-aperture lens with an embedded black circular mask. It filters out peripheral defocused light to improve near, intermediate and distance vision. It also reduces glare, halos and other visual disturbances.
Until recently, monofocal intraocular lenses (IOLs) were the most common lens implanted during cataract surgery. However, with the advancement of multifocal technology, many patients are now opting to receive a multifocal IOL rather than a monofocal IOL.
The decision to choose an IOL depends on your eye’s unique optical properties. Your corneal curvature and the distance between the lens and the retina are important factors that can help your doctor determine the best IOL for you.
A monofocal IOL has one point of focus, which is designed to allow you to see things far away without glasses. This is the most common lens type for cataract patients, and it can be a great option for you if you have good distance vision and only need glasses for near and intermediate viewing.
With a monofocal IOL, your doctor will select a lens power that is designed to give you clear vision at a specific focus distance. The surgeon will take painless measurements of your eyesight before surgery and use a computer program to calculate the correct IOL power for you.
There are many different types of monofocal IOLs to choose from. The newest, most advanced ones offer improved near and intermediate ranges of focusing power. These IOLs can provide you with the same level of visual performance as premium IOLs, but they are much more affordable.
These lenses also have the advantage of being able to be adjusted for your unique eye, which allows you to customize your eye’s optical properties for optimal visual results. If you are unsure about what type of IOL is right for your situation, speak with a seasoned cataract surgeon and discuss your options with them today!
Another benefit of using a monofocal IOL is that it can eliminate the need for bifocal glasses. A bifocal lens is designed to provide near, intermediate, and distance vision. This can be especially helpful for people who are tired of wearing glasses and want to save their money by not having to purchase multiple pairs.
Multifocal IOLs are the latest treatment for cataracts, and they offer a much better solution to patients who have developed presbyopia (the gradual loss of the ability to focus on near objects like a computer screen) as well as those with hyperopia or mild myopia (nearsightedness). With a multifocal IOL, a patient can reduce their dependency on reading glasses or bifocals after surgery.
Unlike monofocal IOLs, which only correct one area of vision (usually distance), multifocal IOLs have a spherical design that can restore varying distances, including intermediate and close-up vision. This allows them to reduce or eliminate the need for reading glasses or bifocals in most cases.
The multifocal lens is available in a variety of models, and the type that works best for you will depend on your specific visual needs. During your consultation, the doctor will assess your refractive error and current visual acuity to help determine which lens is best for you.
A TECNIS multifocal lens, for example, has a fully diffractive surface that can provide 20/25 quality of vision across varying distances and lighting conditions. It is FDA approved and has been used by more than a thousand patients with good results.
Another option is a ReSTOR multifocal IOL, which features different ring-shaped zones to allow for both distance and close-up vision. The ReSTOR is the only trifocal IOL with FDA approval.
As with all lens replacements, there will be an adjustment period when the eye first adapts to the new lens. This is normal and will reduce the appearance of halos and rings over time as the eye’s neural network adjusts to the change in focusing power.
Many patients report that they have been able to reduce their dependency on reading glasses or bifocals significantly after having a multifocal IOL implanted. Some people may even find that they no longer need glasses at all to see clearly in their everyday life, especially if they work on computers or read small print at a distance.
The decision to have a multifocal IOL implanted as part of your cataract surgery is an important one. You must consider the following factors:
YAG Laser Capsulotomy
Many people opt to have laser cataract surgery to improve their vision. It’s a safe and effective procedure that results in clearer vision than glasses, which is why it’s one of the most common surgeries in the United States today.
In cataract surgery, a new artificial lens is placed inside the lens capsule within your eye. Over time, however, the capsule thickens and becomes cloudy, interfering with the ability for light to reach the back of your eye. YAG laser treatment makes a hole in the cloudy capsule, which lets light through, restoring your crystal-clear vision again.
The procedure is simple and can be done on an outpatient basis in just a few minutes. Your ophthalmologist will put anesthetic eye drops in your eyes and then point the YAG laser at the back of your eyes.
This laser is made up of yttrium aluminum garnet, which is a crystal located within the laser. The procedure is painless, does not involve any cutting and you do not feel discomfort at all.
YAG laser treatment is used to correct a complication called posterior capsule opacification (PCO). PCO is an uncommon side effect of cataract surgery, but it can occur weeks, months or years after the procedure.
The ophthalmologists at South Florida Vision Associates can treat this PCO complication and help you see better once again with a quick and simple outpatient procedure: Yag laser capsulotomy. If you are experiencing PCO, or think you might be, contact us now.
Our ophthalmologists have extensive experience performing this quick and painless outpatient treatment. Call our ophthalmology location nearest you to request an appointment or contact us online!
After the YAG capsulotomy procedure, you can resume your normal activities. You may notice some floaters in your vision, but these usually dissipate after a few days.
Your ophthalmologist will monitor your intraocular pressure (IOP) after the procedure to make sure you do not experience any complications. Your ophthalmologist will provide you with specific recovery and aftercare instructions so you can follow them to ensure a successful and safe healing process.