Modern cataract surgery can make a cloudy lens (cataract) disappear. Although cataract surgery is often called “miraculous” by those who have had this surgery, this is no magic trick. Great surgical skill and space-age materials are used to complete this seeming slight-of-hand. However, the current lens designs and materials cannot fully recover the range-vision many of us experienced in our twenties. Current intraocular lens (IOL) designs can provide excellent distance vision in cataract patients. For those willing to pay extra for a larger range of vision, the currently available FDA approved IOLs will return some (but not all) of our youthful vision. With newer lens designs such as the NuLens®, a magical return to the dynamic full-range vision can be achieved.
Unlike earlier pseudoaccommodating IOLs (Such as the Crystalens®) which just distort to provide an incomplete range of vision, the NuLens® works like a piston. The NuLens® is made of a flexible silicon gel that uses the eye’s own muscles to push against the lens. This pushes the gel through an opening within the lens. This results in a change the shape of the IOL. This change in shape increases or decreases the power of the IOL accordingly.
Because the NuLens® has a truly flexible lens, it has the ability to produce a wider focusing capacity compared to other rigid and flat intraocular lens. Amazingly, the design of the NuLens® may even beat the focusing power of a 20 year old by up to 40%. It also offers the promising prospect of better contrast, fewer aberrations and ghost images and a better range of intermediate (activities such as cell phone dialing) to near focus (such as with reading the phone book) without negatively affecting distant vision (as with driving or watching TV).
Candidates for NuLens®
Good candidates for NuLens® procedure generally include patients over 50 with cataracts and no other serious eye diseases. Patients who wish to reduce their dependency on eye glasses and contacts (and who value this enough to pay up to $3,000 per eye) will be prime candidates for the NuLens®.
Is NuLens® Safe and Effective?
Currently available studies show that NuLens® is safe and effective. NuLens® hopes to obtain CE marking in Europe by early 2011. It is expected to be available in the United States by 2014 (depending on the FDA clinical trial results). Not everyone, however, will be a candidate for this IOL. Only your eye surgeon can determine the most appropriate option for you and help you choose the right course of treatment.
The NuLens® is not a magic trick, it’s a science. But, like the best of scientific advancements, it has the potential to awe us like a great magic trick.
- Ben-nun J,e t al. Cataract and Refractive Surgery Today Europe 2008;3:20-21.
- Dick HB. Curr Opin Opthalmol 2005;16:8-26.
- Rosen E. Accomodation: The dynamic range of vision. Available
- Innovations in ophthalmology 2010. The NuLens® Dynacurvature IOL. p72-73.
About NuLens Ltd.
NuLens Ltd. was established in September 2002 to research, develop and market innovative technologies in ophthalmology. The first technology the company has brought under development, the NuLens® IOL, is an accommodative intra-ocular lens (IOL) with over 10 diopters of accommodative power. The NuLens® IOL was designed to provide a viable solution which enables the complete restoration of post-cataract vision at all distances. It is also a candidate for the treatment of presbyopia, an age-related deterioration in near vision. NuLens is a privately-held company with offices in Herzeliya, Israel and Alicante, Spain. Private investors include Elron Electronic Industries Ltd. (Nasdaq: ELRN) and Warburg Pincus. For more information, please visit http://www.nu-lens.com.