Cataracts San Francisco
There is no real way to prevent cataracts…
However, it’s a great time to have cataracts! With the advanced technology that Pacific Eye Associates have access to today, cataract surgery can offer an opportunity to correct other vision problems you might have, such as astigmatism or presbyopia – even if you’ve had them your entire life.
At our practice, we care about your well-being over everything else. We have three cataract doctors that will go over every detail, answer every question and makes you feel confident and self-asserted in your decision.
If you are experiencing one of these symptoms, you may have cataracts:
- Blurry or foggy vision
- Colors appear dull or washed out
- Poor night vision
- Halos appear around lights
- Sensitivity to sunlight or bright lights
- Need more light when reading
- Your glasses don’t seem to work
What is a multifocal lens?
Traditional monofocal lenses, including lens implants, focus light to only one point in space. A multifocal lens has more than one point of focus. Bifocal glasses, which are a type of multifocal, have two points of focus, one at distance and the other at near. What is the benefit of a multifocal lens implant?
A multifocal lens implant focuses light from a distance and near simultaneously. This feature addresses both distant and near vision and makes the recipient less dependent on glasses or contact lenses.
Is a multifocal lens similar to the natural lens of the eye?
No. The natural lens of a young person is flexible and changes shape to produce a change in focus. As a person ages, the natural lens becomes more rigid and functions more like a monofocal lens. Lens implants do not change shape. A multifocal lens compensates for the eye’s inability to change shape by allowing the eye to see at distance and near simultaneously through the same optic.
What are the different multifocal lenses now available?
There are two different types of multifocal lenses currently available: the diffractive multifocal IOL (e.g. ReSTOR® lens by Alcon Laboratories) and the refractive multifocal IOL. Each of these lenses provides both distance and near vision but each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Are there any risks or side effects of multifocal lens implant surgery?
Implantation of a multifocal lens is associated with all the risks and side effects of cataract surgery. These will be explained separately by your doctor.
Will I see 20/20 after cataract surgery?
We hope so, but we can’t guarantee it. You are paying for the service and the implant, not a guaranteed result. If the eye is otherwise healthy, the vast majority of patients can achieve 20/20 vision with glasses, contact lenses or refractive surgery (e.g. LASIK, PRK, CK).
Will I need glasses after cataract surgery?
If you choose to receive a monofocal lens implanted in both eyes for distance vision, you will definitely need reading glasses after surgery. If you receive a multifocal lens there is a good chance you won’t need glasses. 80% of patients implanted with the diffractive and refractive lenses in their respective FDA clinical trials did not need glasses after surgery for distance or near vision. Of course, not every patient in the trial was spectacle independent. The odds of becoming free of spectacles are better if your corneal astigmatism is low and your eyes are healthy.
Why doesn’t insurance (or Medicare) pay for a multifocal lens?
These entities pay for surgery and devices that restore functional vision. They will not pay for services that reduce dependence on glasses or contact lenses. While Medicare and insurance will cover the cost of a standard lens implant, they will not pay for the portion of a deluxe implant that imparts multifocality.
Can I have a multifocal lens implanted later if I decide to have a monofocal lens implanted now?
No. The decision needs to be made prior to cataract surgery.
Can I be implanted with a multifocal lens in one eye only?
Yes, you can, as long as your other eye has a clear natural lens or an early cataract. If your other eye already has a monofocal implant, you may not realize the full benefit of the multifocal lens implant.
Will I need multifocal lenses in both eyes?
It is our current feeling that a multifocal lens should be implanted in both eyes ultimately to realize the full benefit of the technology. There are currently no studies demonstrating the advantages or disadvantages of combining accommodative, multifocal or monofocal lenses when surgery is performed in both eyes.
Will it take longer for my eye to recover from cataract surgery?
Recovery from cataract surgery is the same whether you receive a monofocal lens or a multifocal lens. The number of appointments before and after surgery is also the same. The brain must adjust, however, to the new optical system created with the multifocal lens. This neural adaptation takes from weeks to months to occur. Patients typically notice that they become less aware of their vision as this neural adaptation takes place.