Baltimore Surgeon on Lens Implants, Cataract & Glasses

Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Baltimore Surgeon on Lens Implants, Cataract & Glasses

Baltimore Cataract Surgeon Arturo Betancourt, M.D., commented on questions about lens implants, cataracts and glasses. “With the number of “baby boomers” approaching the age of cataracts there are lots of questions about cataract surgery, lens implants and the need-or not-for eyeglasses,” stated Dr. Betancourt, Medical Director & Ophthalmologist at Baltimore Washington Eye Center. “Many of these questions are quite valid as over the past 5 years, patient expectations and technology have driven a convergence of the goals cataract surgery and refractive surgery,” he further explained.

Traditionally, the goal of cataract surgery was to remove the cloudy crystalline lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant (IOL) of equivalent optical power so as to achieve “emmetropia” thus allowing patients to have good distance vision. The goal of refractive surgery is to help patients decrease or possibly even eliminate their dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses. Today, a rapidly growing cataract patient population wants to achieve both the benefits of cataract surgery and refractive surgery in one combined procedure.

In order to meet patient expectations of being “glasses free” and help patients achieve their personal vision correction and lifestyle goals, it is necessary for us to first carefully select the type and design of lens implant as well as to accurately calculate the IOL power. The types and designs of lens implants that we work with include the following:

Monofocal Lens Implants
Monofocal lens implants are the most basic type of Lens Implant used to correct vision after removal of the crystalline lens. A Monofocal Lens Implant can provide very good vision after cataract surgery-but only at one set distance-usually for seeing things at a distance such as for driving or going to the movies. A Monofocal Lens Implant does not correct intermediate or arm’s length vision for doing things like playing cards and seeing the golf ball on the tee, or even seeing computer screens clearly. Monofocal lens implants do not correct near vision for doing things up close like seeing medicine bottles, reading, or keeping your golf score, as these tasks require the correction of presbyopia.

Toric Lens Implants
Toric lens implants correct astigmatism. For patients who have significant amounts of astigmatism prior to cataract surgery, and who do not wish to wear eyeglasses to see clearly at a distance, choosing a toric lens implant can help them be independent of glasses for tasks such as driving that require clear distance vision. Toric Lens Implants do not correct presbyopia, so that most patients still require reading glasses or bifocals to be able to comfortably perform near vision tasks such as reading and intermediate vision tasks such as computer work.

Near Vision Presbyopia Correcting Lens Implants
Near vision presbyopia correcting lens implants provide vision correction at the full range of distances-far or distance vision, arm’s length or intermediate vision and up close near vision. Depending on the specific vision requirements of the patient, there are several types of presbyopia correcting multifocal and accommodating lens implants that can be used including the Crystalens® Accommodating Lens Implant, the AcrySof®ReSTOR® Multifocal Lens Implant and Tecnis™ Multifocal Lens Implant. Each of these works in a different way to help the patient achieve their vision correction goals of being able to see at a variety of distances without being dependent on eyeglasses or reading glasses. Patients choosing to have a presbyopia correcting lens implant will likely find that they can drive, watch television, play golf and keep score, read a menu, play cards or do crafts-without the need for glasses. Patients choosing a multifocal or accommodating lens implant typically experience a greater overall freedom from glasses, allowing them to participate in most everyday activities without the dependence on, or hassle of glasses.

“As Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, we routinely work to realistically shape patient expectations and then constantly strive to provide the medical, surgical and optical care necessary help patients meet or exceed them” commented Dr. Betancourt. “When patients ask us, “Do I have to wear glasses after my cataract surgery?”, we make sure to help them understand that we can offer them the possibility of a lifestyle that minimizes or possibly eliminates their need for glasses through careful lens implant counseling”, said Dr. Betancourt. “For many patients, being able to essentially function “glasses free” adds a level of convenience and comfort to their everyday lives."

If you or someone you know has questions about Cataracts, Cataract Surgery or Lens Implants (IOL) please free to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.