A cataract occurs when the normally clear lens in your eye becomes cloudy, often impairing vision. Clouded vision may make it more difficult for you to read, drive a car or see as clearly as you once did.
For most people cataracts, which develop slowly over time, are a natural result of aging. About half of Americans between the ages of 65 and 75 have cataracts to some degree.
The key to living with cataracts is knowing when it’s time not to live with them anymore. Usually, this happens when your normal lifestyle — reading the morning paper, driving to the grocery store or seeing the expression on the face of a child or grandchild — is jeopardized by impaired vision. Fortunately, advanced surgical methods make cataract surgery one of the most successful surgical procedures performed today.
Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of cataracts may include:
- Blurry or dim vision
- Poor night vision
- Halos around lights
- Sensitivity to light and glare
- Need for brighter light for reading and other activities
- Frequent changes in eyeglass prescription
Surgery is the most effective treatment for cataracts. More than 95 percent of the people who have cataract removal end up with better vision.
Using microsurgery and local anesthesia, an eye surgeon (ophthalmologist) removes the cataract, leaving much of your eye’s natural lens capsule in place. The capsule helps support the clear artificial lens that the surgeon inserts to replace the cloudy lens. The procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis and takes less than 1 hour. If both eyes are affected, surgery is usually performed on one eye at a time, allowing the first eye to heal before surgery is done on the second one.
Imagine the ability to see your world as well as you did when you were young, without glasses or contact lenses. Being able to see all you want to see – regardless of how far away or close up you are viewing? Youthful vision is possible with the new Acrysof ReSTOR® and other multifocal intraocular lenses. Based on your lifestyle, our doctors will advise you on which lens is best suited for you.
What Is ReSTOR®?
ReSTOR® provides you with a range of vision without relying on mechanical movement of the lens. Through the use of apodization – a series of small steps built into the optics of the lens – light is smoothly transitioned between near, intermediate and distance focal points. The result is an increased range of quality vision that delivers a high level of spectacle freedom. FDA trial data shows that 93% of patients implanted with the ReSTOR® lens never wear glasses for distance, and 81% never wear glasses for near. Patients in this study averaged 69 years of age, making these results even more impressive.
The ReSTOR® Procedure
The medical procedure to implant the ReSTOR® is the same safe, proven cataract surgery performed annually on over 7 million eyes globally. Over 65 million procedures have been done in the US in the last 25 years.
Typically performed in an outpatient surgical facility, the actual surgery takes less than twenty minutes. In a pain-free procedure, your surgeon will place a few drops in your eye, then use an ultrasonic probe to remove the cloudy lens from your eye. The ReSTOR® lens is then gently placed where your original lens used to be. Once surgery is complete, your surgeon will place additional drops in your eye to prevent infection and decrease inflammation.
Because the opening into the eye is so small, it heals quickly on its own, without any need for stitches.
About Multifocal Lenses
What makes ReSTOR® different from other lenses?
The ReSTOR® IOL provides focus points at varying distances, providing sharper vision without corrective lenses throughout a full range of vision from near to far.
Standard (single vision) monofocal lens implants do not have the ability to provide a full range of vision. Most people who have single vision lens implants MUST wear glasses for middle and near vision.
Can my vision be corrected to 20/20?
The ReSTOR® IOL has been designed to focus your eyes at all distances after cataract surgery. While virtually everyone will experience a significant improvement in their uncorrected vision after surgery some people will not see 20/20 at all distances.
Many people who have not had surgery, are not able to see 20/20 at both near and far even with glasses or contact lenses. This is due to a variety of ocular and physiological problems as well as lifestyle preferences, yet most of these people function quite normally despite this reduction in their vision.
The clinical study results for ReSTOR® indicate that 93% of the people enrolled in the study (implanted bilaterally) never wear glasses for distance tasks, and 81% of these same patients never wear glasses for near vision tasks. The average age of these patients was 69 years old.
Will I be able to read in all light conditions?
The ReSTOR® lens functions very much like the normal human lens. It is important to remember that reading vision in low light is also influenced by the overall health of your eye and by the condition of the light sensors in the retina. As we get older, our ability to see in low light conditions may start to decrease. It is always best to read in good light conditions.
How do I know if I am a good candidate for ReSTOR®?
Our doctors will perform a thorough examination and advise you of a customized treatment plan for correcting your vision. Almost everyone with good health is a candidate for implant surgery, but people with chronic infections, diabetes, or other problems may have to wait until these conditions are under control prior to surgery.
People who have had prior corneal refractive surgery are acceptable candidates for ReSTOR® implantation as long as their eye is in good health.
Please Note that if you have already had cataract surgery, you are not a candidate for the ReSTOR® procedure.
Should I have a multifocal lens put in both eyes?
Typically cataracts will develop in both eyes. If only one eye has a cataract, only one implant is necessary. If both eyes have cataracts and the vision in one eye is worse, your surgeon will generally elect to implant that eye first. If both eyes are the same, he usually starts with the ‘non-dominant’ eye. Our doctors will look at a number of factors in deciding which eye to implant first.
What will the ReSTOR® procedure cost? Will insurance cover any of it?
If you have a cataract, your Medicare or private insurance may cover the cataract surgical procedure and anesthesia; and may also allow a certain additional amount for the lens implant. You are then required to pay a deductible as well as any additional amount above the primary coverage. (Some patients are completely responsible for payment – not all insurance companies will cover cataract surgery).
If you do not have a cataract, but wish to have the ReSTOR® or ReZoom™ lens implanted to improve your distance and near vision, the procedure is viewed as elective by Medicare and private insurance companies.