Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)
Patients interested in bifocal IOLs such as the ReSTOR® lens should contact our Washington, DC, or Maryland area practice, serving Northern Virginia and surrounding areas.
Why Choose Intraocular Lenses?
Some patients have extremely strong refractive errors. While laser vision correction is an excellent method to correct moderate refractive errors, Drs. Clinch and Kang do not recommend laser procedures for extremely high levels of nearsightedness or farsightedness. For over four decades Intraocular lenses have been used in cataract surgery with great success. In cataract surgery, the cloudy, natural crystalline lens is replaced with the intraocular lens (IOL). Through a procedure known as refractive lens exchange, these same lenses can now be used to correct nearsightedness and farsightedness, even if you do not have a cataract. Since the intraocular lenses are placed inside the eye, they do not change the corneal curvature. For this reason, even strong refractive errors can be successfully corrected. The only difference between cataract surgery and refractive lens exchange is that refractive lens exchange is an elective procedure since the natural lens has not yet developed a cataract.
Another option for vision correction is phakic intraocular lens implantation. Rather than replacing the eye’s natural crystalline lens, a lens, much like a contact lens, is surgically inserted in front of the eye’s natural lens. Since nothing is removed, this procedure is reversible.
Clear view of a vision chart through an implanted phakic IOL. The cornea is unchanged.
Distorted view of a vision chart through an eye that had LASIK for high levels of nearsightedness. The cornea was flattened to a level that created aberrations in vision.
Originally, intraocular lenses (IOLs) were available only as monofocal lenses or standard lenses, meaning that patients needed glasses for either reading or distance vision after surgery. With recent technological advances, however, patients over the age of 40 are now able to achieve clear reading and distance vision using bifocal IOLs, offered by our Washington, DC, and Maryland area surgeons.
ReSTOR®, an intraocular lens (IOL) manufactured by AcrySof® and offered at our Washington, DC, and Maryland area practice, allows patients to achieve a full range of high quality near, intermediate, and distance vision following cataract surgery or refractive lens exchange. Dr. Clinch and Dr. Kang have extensive experience using the ReSTOR® lens. In fact, Dr. Clinch performed the first ReSTOR® intraocular lens implant in Washington, DC, and was featured on a Channel 7 news segment.
The ReSTOR® intraocular lens is implanted during cataract surgery to replace the natural crystalline lens. ReSTOR®, which received FDA approval in 2005, has a revolutionary intraocular lens design. The lens itself has a central region called an optic. The optic consists of blended circles which work together through a unique process called apodization. During this process, light is focused within the eye to accommodate both near and far objects, thereby enhancing near, intermediate, and distant vision.
Most patients that have received the ReSTOR® IOL are exceedingly happy with the results. According to a clinical study, 80 percent of patients who received the ReSTOR® IOL during cataract surgery can now enjoy daily activities, including reading and driving, without ever needing glasses or contacts. In addition, 94 percent say that they would have the procedure again if given the choice. Dr. John O’Neill, our pediatric and strabismus specialist, had the ReSTOR® lens implanted and loves it!
When the surface of a normal eye’s cornea has a spherical curve, like a basketball, light rays passing through it bend towards its center and focus on one spot.
Sometimes the surface of the cornea is curved more like a football than a basketball, with both flatter and steeper curves. When the surface of the cornea has an uneven curvature, vision becomes distorted. This common irregularity is called corneal astigmatism.
Following cataract surgery, if you have astigmatism, you may still experience blurred and distorted vision because the standard lens does not correct your astigmatism, just your nearsightedness or farsightedness. To achieve quality distance vision with a standard IOL, you may require eyeglasses, contact lenses, or further surgery.
One option for correcting astigmatism after cataract surgery is simply glasses or contact lenses; however, there are surgical options that are also available, including LASIK laser vision correction, limbal relaxing incisions, and astigmatic keratotomy. Another new and exciting option is a toric intraocular lens (IOL), now offered at our Washington, D.C. and Maryland-area vision center.
The toric IOL is a lens that is implanted at the time of cataract surgery. Its unique design makes it possible to reduce or significantly improve uncorrected distance vision like a standard or monofocal IOL while eliminating corneal astigmatism. This lens provides better quality distance vision independent of glasses and contact lenses than a standard lens does. The toric intraocular lens is made of the same material already successfully implanted in more than 25 million eyes since 1991.
Implanting this lens does not at all influence the risks of cataract surgery. The procedure itself remains exactly the same except that at the time of lens insertion, this toric lens is implanted instead of a standard lens.