For many years LASIK (laser eye surgery) has been the most common procedure used for correcting long and short sight. In recent years however, lens replacement surgery (refractive lens exchange) has become the most popular vision correction technique for people over 45 years of age. It uses bespoke lenses to correct long or short sight and astigmatism, whilst also removing or preventing future development of cataract.
The surgery involves the replacement of the natural lens in the eye with a new artificial lens tailored to the individual These lenses don’t wear out and the restored vision remains stable over the long-term. In addition, lens implants can correct a much larger range of long sight, short sight and astigmatism compared to laser eye surgery. There are several styles of artificial lens, also known as intra-ocular lens available to correct vision. It can be a challenge for patients to choose the lens system to suit their needs so having an understanding of the choices before attending a consultation is beneficial.
The most common lens used is a single focus lens. This corrects vision in one area, usually distance, leaving patients to use glasses for reading. A variation known as blended or monovision, uses a distance vision in the dominant eye, and a slightly nearer focus in the non-dominant eye. This provides a greater depth of focus from reading to distance, reducing the need for near and distance glasses.
There are several types of multifocal lenses. The design I mainly use now are the trifocal lens (used in the new DUET procedure) as these provide the greatest degree of spectacle independence. These are designed with three focal distances to provide vision from distance, intermediate and near.
All these lens systems offer many benefits for patients, however, I feel an essential part of the consultation is to match individual requirements and expectations to help choose the most appropriate lens system for each patient and their preferred lifestyle.
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