Everyone will eventually lose the ability to focus up close as we age. This is called presbyopia, and it usually begins around age 45. Most people will need to use bifocal or reading glasses at this age. Surgery is available for those who are bothered by glasses and want to try to do something to be less dependent on them.
Refractive lens exchange or clear lens exchange is a surgery to replace the natural lens in the eye that is no longer focusing near and far with an artificial lens that restores good vision focus.
Several intraocular lenses are available. Your refractive surgeons at Shepard Eye Center are skilled at implanting all of the commonly used presbyopic intraocular lenses. In our experience, however, the AcrySof ReSTOR lens gives patients the greatest chance of being glasses-free.
In the original FDA studies, 80% of patients with ReSTOR lenses did not need glasses at any time after surgery. The ReSTOR lens is made of the same highly biocompatible acrylic material as Alcon’s market-leading AcrySof family of intraocular lenses, which have been implanted in more than 21 million human eyes since 1991.
The surgery to implant the lens is similar to cataract surgery. For most patients, this is a painless outpatient procedure that can be performed with no needles, no stitches, and no patches. The vision is usually quite good even hours after the surgery although adjusting to the new lenses and achieving your best vision may take several weeks or months.
The best patients for this surgery have healthy eyes. Patients should either have little or no astigmatism or be willing to have a LASIK laser touch-up surgery after lens implant surgery if needed.