At the time of cataract and refractive lens surgery, a patient’s cloudy or dysfunctional crystalline lens is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) implant. One of the nice features of undergoing cataract surgery is that the IOL can be customized for each patient’s eye so that the resulting IOL power will yield excellent distance vision. Almost 80% of our patients will have monofocal IOLs implanted and if distance vision is the target, any pre-existing nearsightedness or farsightedness can be reduced or eliminated so that glasses for distance might not be needed following the surgery.
One of the drawbacks of these monofocal IOLs is that patients will still require computer or reading glasses in order to help with their near focus. There are other IOL options available that can give patients distance and intermediate or distance and near vision. These IOLs are extended depth of focus lenses (EDOFs) or multifocal IOLs. Currently available multifocal IOLs are actually bifocal lenses which can be powered only for distance and near or intermediate ranges. Most patients have been very happy with these lenses but because they are bifocal IOLs, there is usually a zone where patients might not have the sharpest focus. This might be near or intermediate vision depending on the bifocal IOL power implanted. Surgeons have been able to get around these areas of suboptimal vision by placing different IOL models in each eye so that one IOL will make up for the weakness of the other IOL. An IOL with an intermediate ranged bifocal in one eye and a near ranged bifocal in the other eye will usually result in a blended vision situation where all distances are in focus with at least one eye.
A new trifocal IOL was approved by the FDA last summer and offers the ability to give distance, intermediate and near vision all with one IOL model. The IOL, termed the AcrySof® PanOptix™ IOL, delivers focusing power at all three ranges. In the FDA clinical trials, 99% of patients implanted with the IOL were satisfied with the result and would have the lens implanted again.
As with any multifocal IOL, there is the potential for halos or nighttime optical aberrations that might result in dissatisfaction if implanted in patients with unreasonable expectations or less than ideal ocular conditions. Also, these multifocal IOLs may not work in every patient and may not work optimally if the eye has pathology in the retina, cornea or tear film.
The PanOptix IOL is another option we can now offer to you. If you are ready for cataract or refractive surgery, we would be happy to discuss possible lens options at your next visit at one of our three locations: Eugene, Harlow Road or Florence.