Cataract surgery restores clear vision because the cloudy, rigid, human lens is removed and replaced by a synthetic intraocular lens, usually called an “IOL.”
Standard “Fixed-Focus” IOLs
Patients with standard “fixed-focus” IOLs typically need a weak pair of bifocals following surgery. These IOLs provide excellent overall clarity especially when fine-tuned by the use of bifocals. These IOLs are covered by insurance as part of the costs of standard cataract surgery.
Premium Presbyopia and astigmatism correcting IOLs
Many people who have cataracts experience other problems with their vision, such as presbyopia and astigmatism, which the Symfony lenses also address. Presbyopia, which affects most people over age 40, means people have lost the ability to focus on objects up close and often require glasses to perform near visual tasks. Astigmatism is when the cornea is misshapen, which causes blurry or distorted vision.
“The Symfony intraocular lens is a new option I can offer my patients to improve their vision following cataract surgery, especially those who have difficulty focusing on objects at near distances because of presbyopia,” said Eric D. Donnenfeld, M.D., of Ophthalmic Consultants of Long Island, New York. “Many of my patients live very active lifestyles and want to see clearly at all distances, and without glasses if possible. With the Symfony lens, I can give patients the freedom to enjoy the activities that matter to them, while wearing glasses less.”
During cataract surgery, the natural lens of the eye is removed, and an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens, or IOL, is inserted into the eye. The IOL most commonly used in cataract surgery is a monofocal lens, which only allows the person to see at a distance, with closer objects being out of focus. In contrast, the Symfony lens was specifically developed with features to improve both the range and quality of vision.
Toric IOLs are the third option available. Very large degrees of astigmatism may call for the use of a totally different type of IOL. A toric IOL may be the best option for those with marked astigmatism. The use of this IOL corrects both the cataract and astigmatism, and its use can result in the need for the weakest pair of glasses possible, glasses that will also be much more optically-pleasing due to the correction of the distortions that come with strong astigmatism. Correcting such high degrees of astigmatism with an IOL is much better than the correction achieved with spectacles.