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Multifocal Accommodating IOLs a Good Option For Cataract Surgery

September 9, 2016

A new study presented at the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery meeting found that patients who underwent cataract surgery with bilateral multifocal and bilateral accommodating IOLs reported high satisfaction.

The study involved 117 patients, 68 of which received a multifocal IOL and 49 of which received an accommodating IOL.

Why is this significant? Well, in the days before intraocular lenses (IOLs), patients who underwent cataract surgery still needed to wear thick glasses or special contact lenses to see after their surgery. Now, newer procedures actually replace your natural lens during cataract surgery, so that you can enjoy the improvements in your vision, many times without the need for glasses or contacts.

Monofocal lenses have been around for quite awhile and are prescribed for a fixed distance. The IOL is set for focus at a certain range, so if your IOL is set for distance vision, you’ll need to supplement it with reading glasses for close vision. Conversely, if your IOL is set for near vision, you will need glasses that enable long distance vision.

But multifocal or accommodative lenses are one of the options that patients can choose from that will reduce or eliminate the need for glasses after cataract surgery. The IOL is designed with a series of focal lenses, so that patients can see objects clearly both near and far away. These lenses are generally placed in both eyes, and allow certain eye muscles to move the IOL back and forth, much like a natural lens.

So you can see why it’s so important that the study has found high satisfaction rates among patients who went with multifocal or accommodating lenses. One of the risks of these lenses is the chance of side effects like halos around lights at night, depending on the size of the patient’s pupils. However, these are generally not as problematic as the halos caused by the cataracts themselves.

It was thought that the brain will learn to selectively ignore them after a period of time. This happens in the same way that we learn to ignore background noises like traffic or ocean waves, a process called neuroadaptation. This isn’t exactly what the study found, however.

Interestingly, Dr. John A. Hovanesian says that, “One of the takeaways for us is that the idea of neuroadaptation probably doesn’t really happen with multifocals. Patients may stop complaining because they stop complaining. Among both groups, even if they had glare and halos, patients would not have chosen a different lens.”

So even though they had to deal with the halos, after 5.4 years, 90% said that they were either “somewhat satisfied” or “very satisfied” and would be likely to recommend the procedure to family and friends.

The team at EyeCare2020 has improved the vision of countless people in New Jersey and the surrounding area, so why not you? Learn more about cataract surgery today to start your journey towards better, clearer vision.

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