What is Crystalens?
Crystalens is a multifocal IOL (intraocular lens) that can treat both cataracts and presbyopia. Created by Bausch + Lomb, it is currently the only FDA-approved artificial lens that utilizes a method called accommodation to provide sharper, clearer vision at all ranges of distance for people who have undergone cataract surgery. Many people who require cataract surgery also suffer from presbyopia, which is the loss of near and intermediate vision that occurs as part of the natural aging process. By choosing an artificial lens that can correct both cataracts and presbyopia, patients are typically able to see much more clearly than they did before surgery.
Crysalens behaves like the natural lens of your eye in that it uses the eye muscles to flex and accommodate to focus on objects at multiple distances. This allows many patients to read a book, find items in the grocery store, and take in scenery without the need for glasses. After receiving Crystalens implants, most patients report that they rarely, if ever, need to use corrective lenses. Patients who receive standard monofocal lenses may have great distance vision after surgery, but would most likely need to use reading glasses to see objects in the near range of vision clearly.
Crystalens Compared to Other Standard Multifocal IOLs
Popular multifocal IOLs include AcrySof ReSTOR and Optics’ Tecnis, which use different zones of the lens to allow for focus at different ranges of vision, similar to progressive lenses in prescription eyeglasses. This type of IOL provides clear vision by teaching the brain to use the appropriate zone to provide vision at the required ranges of vision. Because vision is focused through multiple zones, side effects and loss of visual acuity are more likely to occur. The accommodating feature of Crystalens allows patients to see the world around them through just one zone, reducing the likelihood of common problems such as glare, halos, and difficultly with night vision. Crystalens stands apart from multifocal lenses because it behaves more like the natural lens of your eye, using the eye muscles to flex the lens and focus on objects at multiple distances.
Candidates for Crystalens
Candidates for Crystalens are typically patients who have both cataracts and hyperopia (difficulty seeing objects in the near range of vision). Ideal candidates will have had good vision prior to the development of hyperopia. Additionally, patients must have realistic expectations and not expect that any IOL will solve all of their vision problems immediately.
Some people are not good candidates for Crystalens and may be better suited to standard multifocal or monofocal IOLs. For example, accommodating IOLs tend to provide a smaller range of focus (near to far) than multifocal IOLs, which could be a disadvantage for some patients. To learn more about Crystalens or to discuss which IOL would be best for you, call us today to set up an initial consultation. Our optometrists are highly experienced at placing various types of IOLs and will draw on their years of experience to help you decide which IOL is right for you.