Tuesday, November 22, 2005

New intraocular lens reduces need for reading glasses

Traditionally cataracts have been removed and replaced by an intraocular lens implant that resulted in most patients needing reading glasses, even if they never required them prior to the procedure. As I reported earlier, many transplant recipients such as myself develop cataracts caused by their medications. I had my lens implants a couple of years ago and promptly had to get eye glasses for reading. Now, there is a new lens available that reduces or eliminates completely the need for reading glasses. The Mayo Clinic's news release provides an excellent overview of this exciting new lens.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla., Nov. 21, 2005
Ophthalmologists at Mayo Clinic are implanting a new intraocular lens (IOL) during cataract surgery that promises to reduce or eliminate the need for reading glasses. Standard IOL implants are monofocal. They correct for distance vision but not close-up vision. For activities like reading or working on a computer, patients who've had cataracts removed usually require reading glasses. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the ReSTOR lens in March. In the clinical trial to gain FDA approval, 80 percent of patients who had the lens implanted reported they no longer needed glasses for any activity.

"To me the greatest thing this lens offers is freedom," says Mayo Clinic ophthalmologist Dr. Akbar Hasan. "You can focus at different depths. You can go into a grocery store, look down the lane and then pick up a can of soup and read the ingredients. You don't have to reach for your glasses." Dr. Hasan is quick to point out that the new lens doesn't offer better quality vision than standard implants, but rather, less dependence on reading glasses.

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