Crystalens® with Our Vision Specialist
Crystalens® is the only intraocular lens implant that bends and flexes just like your eye’s natural lens. It gives aging eyes the visual acuity of young healthy eyes, and has had an excellent success rate in patients who have had crystalens® implanted.
How does the crystalens® implant work?
The crystalens® implant works in much the same way as your natural lens. With natural, healthy vision, your eye focuses on images near and far by coordinating the curvatures of its outer membrane and inner lens. The outer membrane is called the cornea, and the inner lens is called the crystalline lens. LASIK and other refractive surgeries are used to correct the curvature of the cornea, as well as corneal implants. Crystalens® has a high success rate and is the first and only crystalline lens implant that curves and flexes just like your natural lens.
The Accommodation Process
The crystalline lens is located behind the iris (the colored part of your eye), and is controlled by the surrounding ciliary muscles. The lens bends, flexes, thickens, and thins as you focus on objects near and far. This process is called accommodation. The accommodation of the lens works to focus images on the retina, where the images are turned into chemical signals which are interpreted by your brain.
Loss of Accommodation with Age
As you age, your lens loses flexibility and becomes less accommodating. Your lens can also become clouded with cataracts. As your lens hardens or becomes clouded with cataracts, your vision deteriorates, and will continue to deteriorate without medical intervention. Cataract extraction is the removal of the clouded crystalline lens. After cataract surgery, vision may be improved with glasses, contact lenses, or an intraocular lens such as crystalens® that is implanted behind the iris where the crystalline lens used to be.
Accommodation with Crystalens®
Traditional intraocular lenses improve vision, but are not accommodating and often require glasses to achieve 20/20 vision. The new crystalens® intraocular lens, approved by the FDA in 2003, actually bends and flexes much like your natural lens, giving patients near 20/20 vision, often without the use of prescription glasses or contact lenses. Crystalens® has an excellent success rate of accommodating for near and far vision, literally giving many older patients the same visual acuity they had in their 20s.
Crystalens® Success Rates
The crystalens® intraocular lens has had outstanding success in helping patients achieve normal vision. The FDA presented this data for crystalens® success based on 497 patients: 98.4 percent of the patients could read NYSE, Wall Street Journal, and other newspapers, 100 percent of the patients could read their email and other content on their computer monitors, 98.4 percent achieved 20/40 vision or better in the distance, and most achieved 20/20 or 20/30 vision.
The placement of intraocular lenses is a new technology, and long-term data is not available. Talk with your doctor and make sure you fully understand the risks involved before deciding if crystalens® is right for you. All surgery involves risk. Though complications from crystalens® implantation are rare, some of the risks of intraocular surgery include:
- More surgery may be required to correct lens placement if the lens is placed improperly or if the lens shifts after surgery
- Possible cornea clouding due to an increased loss of endothelial cells after surgery (endothelial cells are responsible for draining corneal fluid and keeping it clear; endothelial cells are not replaced by the body when lost)
- Permanent loss of vision
- Increased risk of detached retina after surgery
Until recently, life without reading glasses or bifocals was not an option for most patients. The AcrySof® ReSTOR® is a unique technological innovation that can provide you with quality vision throughout the entire visual spectrum – near through distance – with increased independence from reading glasses or bifocals.
How does the AcrySof® ReSTOR® intraocular lens work?
As we perform daily activities such as reading, watching television or working at the computer, our eyes are constantly focusing on objects at varying distances – up close, far away and everything in-between. The ability to quickly change focus throughout this range of vision is called accommodation.
Unfortunately, this ability diminishes as we grow older, causing us to become dependent on bifocals or reading glasses. However, the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL was designed to provide quality near to distance vision using refractive technologies. Similar technology has been used for years in microscopes and telescopes to improve image quality, and has now been patented for use in intraocular lenses by Alcon.
Important facts to remember
All patients will see their very best with glasses at both distance and near. The ReSTOR® IOL simply improves your odds of functioning well without glasses.
Although 4 out 5 patients reported never wearing glasses after surgery in both eyes, 1 out of 5 patients still needed glasses after surgery. The results are not instantaneous. Much of the healing takes place in the first 1-7 days after surgery. Your vision will continue to improve for several weeks following surgery. Your eyes may go though a subtle adjustment period as they get used to their new vision. Both eyes need to have the ReSTOR IOL for the best outcome.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most common questions about the new AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL.
How is the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL different from monofocal lenses?
Monofocal intraocular lenses focus at only one distance, meaning that you will likely need glasses following surgery either for distance or near, and sometimes for both. The AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL differs from regular monofocal IOLs in that it focuses at distance and near, decreasing your dependency on glasses at all distances.
What is the difference in cost between a traditional monofocal lens and the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL?
Insurance policies vary, but Medicare, supplemental insurance, and private insurance will typically still cover the basic cataract surgery procedure with a conventional IOL. However, if you decide to have an AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL implanted, there may be an additional cost that is not covered by insurance or Medicare. You can elect to pay the difference for the added benefits of the AcrySof® ReSTOR® IOL.