New Technology Could Offer Freedom from Glasses for Cataract Patients

Eye Glasses
Traditional cataract surgery replaces the natural lens with a monofocal lens. A recent advance in artificial lens technology is helping many cataract patients see clearly and enjoy freedom from glasses.

Imagine what it would be like to wake up every morning with cloudy vision. It’s a reality for 20 million Americans. Eye injury, certain diseases, or even some medications can cause the clouding, but in over 90 percent of cases, clouding is caused by cataracts as a direct result of the aging process.

Cataract surgery is the most commonly performed surgery in the U.S., yet most patients still need reading glasses after the procedure. Traditional cataract surgery replaces the natural lens with a monofocal lens, which provides vision at only one focal point, usually distance. A recent advance in artificial lens technology is helping many cataract patients see clearly and, for most activities, enjoy freedom from glasses.

“In the past, when we removed a cloudy cataract and used a traditional lens, patients often still needed reading glasses for their near tasks. Now, the ReSTOR lens gives patients options,” said Kerry Solomon, MD, and one of the chief clinical investigators of the breakthrough lens. “It allows them the potential to be free from glasses. The majority can drive their cars, use their computers or read their books without needing glasses. This is a huge advance and should improve patients’ quality of life.”

Approved in March 2005 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, AcrySof ReSTOR lens (Alcon Laboratories, Inc.) is the first and only IOL (intraocular lens) that uses apodized diffractive technology to provide cataract patients with or without presbyopia a quality range of vision. In clinical trials, 80 percent of patients never wore reading glasses or bifocals following cataract surgery in both eyes. The vast majority of patients who undergo cataract surgery today receive traditional lenses, which typically require patients to use reading glasses or bifocals for near vision following surgery.

AcrySof ReSTOR lens features a combination of three complementary technologies: apodization, diffraction and refraction. Alcon Laboratories was the first to apply this combination of technologies to artificial lenses for cataract surgery, thus, allowing patients to read the font on items such as prescription bottles, magazines, newspapers and computer screens, while also providing the ability to see items at a distance without needing glasses or bifocals.

“I don’t need glasses to read, and I don’t need glasses to watch the television,” said Carol O’Connor, a Charleston, S.C., resident who had the lens implanted. “Now I can see up close, and I can see far away. I’m still trying to get used to the idea that I do not need glasses. It’s a wonderful feeling.”

Courtesy of ARA Content

AcrySof ReSTOR IOL was awarded Product of the Year by Frost & Sullivan in 2005 and is a product of Alcon, Inc. (NYSE:ACL), the world’s leading eye care company. Alcon, which has been dedicated to the ophthalmic industry for over 50 years, develops, manufactures and markets pharmaceuticals, surgical equipment and devices, contact lens solutions and other vision care products that treat diseases, disorders and other conditions of the eye.

A small percentage of patients who receive the AcrySof ReSTOR lens may experience visual side effects such as halos around lights at night or difficulty in distinguishing objects against a dark background in low-lighting conditions. Patients should consult an eye care physician for more information on the risks and benefits of cataract surgery and the AcrySof ReSTOR lens. For full prescribing information, visit: