This first week of my blog I am summarizing some of the exciting new technologies presented at the joint meeting of the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS) / University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Jules Stein Institute in Century City.

Yesterday I discussed the most exciting new IOL technology on the horizon for monofocal (single-distance) IOLs. Today, I’m going to talk about what I think is the most exciting technology in the “presbyopia-correcting” IOLs.

Synchrony IOL

First, a word about presbyopia. When we are young, our eyes are able to focus over a wide range from distance to near. As we age we lose this ability to change focus. Eventually, we need to help our eyes with the near portion of this range with reading glasses, or “cheaters.”

Currently, the only options available to return that range of vision involve removing the natural lens (or cataract) and replacing it with a multifocal IOL (more on these in a future post) or accommodating IOL. The problem with current multifocal IOLs is that they result in little rings around lights at night. The problem with the currently available accommodating IOL (the Crystalens®) is that is doesn’t work for everyone. So, what’s on the horizon…

This lens was presented by David Chang, M.D. (UCSF) who is one of the most impressive cataract surgeons alive today. It uses a unique two-lens approach to providing a range of vision (distance and near) after cataract surgery. Once inserted into the eye these two lenses would move relative to each other resulting in a variable range of vision.

Unlike most presently available presbyopia-correcting IOLs this lens does not result in halos or glare after surgery. The initial results are very impressive and I am looking forward to offering this IOL to my patients as soon as it becomes available in the US.

As it is such an unusual type of IOL (two lenses instead of one) many surgeons will not be comfortable implanting this IOL when it first becomes available. Nevertheless, this may be worth searching out as the initial results are quite impressive. I’ll keep this blog posted when new results are available as I’m very bullish on this IOL.

© 2009 David Richardson, MD

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