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Cataract Surgery: Choosing Your Advanced Technology Lens

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By David J. Sackel, M.D., Thomas Eye Group

A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye, resulting in vision loss that cannot be corrected with spectacles, contact lenses, or corneal refractive surgery (including LASIK). Cataracts are very common; more than 50 percent of all Americans age 80 or older either have cataracts or have had surgery to remove them, according to the National Eye Institute. Recently, there has been a trend toward performing cataract surgery in younger patients, especially given the advanced optics available.

Thomas Eye Group in Atlanta offers a wide-range of lens options, including cutting-edge laser cataract surgery via the FDA-approved CATALYS Precision Laser System. Traditionally, cataract surgeons have had to rely solely on handheld instruments to perform this challenging procedure. However, the sophisticated software of the CATALYS allows for true customization by optimizing outcomes and helping treat corneal astigmatism.

Intraocular Lens (IOL) Options
Intraocular lenses come in a variety of materials and designs. Your Thomas Eye Group cataract surgeon will help you select the most appropriate lens for your needs. A monofocal lens provides clear, single-range vision and most people choose to have their monofocal lens set for distance. This allows individuals to perform activities such as driving without requiring them to wear glasses or contacts. However, individuals will likely still need to wear glasses while reading or for activities involving close vision.

However, with a monofocal lens with Monovision, one eye can be set for distance and the other for near vision. If you are considering this option, your doctor may initially recommend a contact lens trial to determine if this is your best option.

Premium or Enhanced Lenses
A toric lens is for candidates with significant corneal astigmatism. Toric IOLs are monofocal lenses designed to correct the blurry or distorted vision caused by your astigmatism and may significantly improve your distance or near vision.

Another enhanced lens option is a multifocal lens, which has focal rings that allow you to see clearly at both near and far distances. With a multifocal IOL, you will have maximum flexibility with the least amount of dependence on glasses for any focal point.

Many of my patients who are active and enjoy playing sports have gravitated toward using the CATALYS and the advanced optics of the multifocal IOL. Not only does this lens enable them to be less dependent on glasses, but it also provides them with greater depth perception. The ophthalmologists at Thomas Eye Group look forward to discussing your vision needs and expectations, while helping you determine the best implant approach.