Artificial intraocular lenses, or IOL’s, replace the eye’s natural lens that is removed during cataract surgery. IOL’s have been around since the mid-1960?s, though the first FDA approval for one occurred in 1981. Before that, if you had cataracts removed, you had to wear very thick eyeglasses or special contact lenses in order to see afterward, since the natural lens that had been removed wasn’t replaced with an artificial one.
Until recently, only cataract surgeons — not their patients — weighed the risks and benefits of various IOL’s. The surgeons’ discussions focused on the surgical technique (clear cornea, small incision, etc.) and the physical design of the lenses (one-piece vs. multi-piece, acrylic vs. silicone) and how that design affected insertion, positioning and healing.
Good vision after cataract surgery was another important consideration. But now that new premium IOL’s have been introduced that solve more vision problems than ever, cataract surgeons have more to consider before choosing IOL’s for their patients’ visual needs. Cataract patients are becoming more involved in the choice as well.
The best way to find out whihc IOL option is right for you is to speak with Dr. Margolis in person. Please call 303-797-1150 today to schedule an appointment at our office in Lone Tree, Colorado.
Toric IOL’s for Astigmatism
Toric IOL’s designed to correct astigmatism also are considered “premium” lenses, and — like multifocal and accommodating IOL’s — likely will cost you extra because of benefits that are unavailable in conventional IOL’s.
FDA-approved in 1998, the Staar Surgical Intraocular Lens was the first toric IOL available in the United States. The Staar toric IOL comes in a full range of distance vision powers, in two versions. One corrects up to 2.00 diopters (D) of astigmatism and the other corrects up to 3.50 D.
The FDA also approved the AcrySof IQ Toric IOL (Alcon) in September 2005. Different models of this toric IOL can correct 1.50 to 3.00 D of astigmatism. This lens also is available in aspheric versions for crisper vision. Different models also can filter potentially damaging UV or blue light.
Most surgeons who treat astigmatism in their cataract patients tend to use astigmatic keratotomy (AK) or limbal relaxing incisions, which involve making incisions in the cornea.
But in addition to or even instead of corneal astigmatism, some people may have lenticular astigmatism, caused by irregularity in the shape of the natural lens inside the eye. This can be corrected with a toric IOL. Risks include poor vision due to the lens rotating out of position, with the possibility of further surgery to re-position or replace the IOL.
Please contact Margolis Vision today to schedule your cataract surgery consultation. We serve patients in Lone Tree, Castle Rock, and throughout the Denver area.