Cataracts are a common condition in which the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. The cloudiness makes it difficult for light to focus in the eye. The result is hazy vision and other visual disturbances. At present, the only way to treat a cataract is to remove it surgically and replace it with an artificial lens, such as the ReSTOR intraocular lens.
Cataract surgery is one of the most common and most successful eye surgeries performed in the United States today. The ideal we strive for is to restore your eyes’ functionality to be as much like your “young eye” as possible. For an experienced ophthalmologist like Dr. Ilan Cohen of 5th Avenue Eye Center, the surgery is routine and Dr. Cohen performs hundreds of them every year.
But the ReSTOR lens may help even if you don’t have cataracts. It can also be used to treat problems with “accommodation”. When our eyes are young, the natural lens inside the eye has the ability to change its shape. This action, called “accommodation”, allows us to adjust the focus of our eyes from distance to near with little effort. When we pass 40, we gradually lose our accommodation ability and become dependent on reading glasses or bifocals. This process of losing our accommodation is called “presbyopia”. Presbyopia affects nearly everyone beginning in their mid-40s.
Many patients with accommodation problems choose to replace their natural lenses with ReSTOR lenses as a means of vision correction, even though they don’t have a cataract. This procedure has a high success rate, with approximately 94% satisfaction. Additionally, about 80% of patients report never having to wear glasses for any reason after the procedure. The best results are achieved when the ReSTOR procedure is performed on both eyes.
Once the original lens is removed, the eye will no longer have the ability to focus light clearly and must be replaced. In the past, lens implants used in cataract surgery have been monofocal lenses, which requires the use of removable contact lenses or prescription glasses after surgery. If you have cataracts, we can now replace the lens with a prescription implantable intraocular lens (IOL). The intraocular lens remains in place inside the eye indefinitely. Implantable intraocular lenses offer the convenience of not having to rely on glasses or contact lenses.
One of the most popular intraocular lenses used in cataract surgery New Jersey and NYC is the ReSTOR IOL. The ReSTOR IOL is a lens implant that allows patients to see objects both near and far. The lens uses special technologies to distribute light. As a result, patients are often freed of having to use glasses for all distances.
Like any surgery, implantation of the ReSTOR lens does have some risks. Infection is always a potential complication, but treating with antibiotics typically minimizes this risk. Additionally, some glare and halo effect is common, but it is considered a minor trade-off for the gains in visual acuity and accommodation. It also should be noted that, once this procedure is performed and the natural lens is removed, it cannot be replaced. The ReSTOR lens itself, however, can be replaced with another intraocular lens at a later date if the lens power needs to be adjusted. This is a very rare occurrence.
Dr. Ilan Cohen performs hundreds of ReSTOR lens procedures each year for patients with and without cataracts. However, your candidacy for any particular lens needs to be determined with an extensive screening exam. For the best results we will need to determine which of the new technology lenses is the best for your individual case. Many different eye conditions exist that may make you a better candidate for a specific lens versus the other. In general, the best NON-cataract candidates have a normal eye exam and are dependent on reading glasses or bifocals. It’s also important for patients to have realistic expectations for what the procedure can deliver.
If you have any questions at all or simply want to learn more about RESTOR lenses, cataract surgery, LASIK, and other laser vision correction options in New York City, Glendale NY, the greater New York area, or Old Bridge, New Jersey and surrounding cities, we welcome you to email us, call (212) 764-2020 or (866) 731-3937, or visit us in person!