There comes a time in life for many people when their arms become too short to read books or magazines at the same distances as when they were young. This isn’t due to suddenly contracting bones, but rather to changes in vision that prevent sharp focus up close. Called presbyopia, this age-related loss of visual acuity is quite common.
The equally common solution has been reading glasses, lenses that add magnification to compensate for the loss of the eye’s natural focusing ability. Another vision issue that often accompanies aging is cataracts, a clouding of the eye’s natural lens. The solution for this is the removal and replacement of the lens with a prosthetic intraocular lens (IOL).
Ophthalmologist Cory Bergman, MD in Rapid City, South Dakota, recommends presbyopia-correcting IOLs to his patients who can benefit from this exciting new application that assures sharp vision into your senior years.
Focusing light on the retina is the job of the eye’s cornea and lens. The lens changes shape through muscle contraction and relaxation, for near and far focusing, respectively. Its flexibility fades as you get older. It no longer changes shape enough with muscle contraction to focus on close objects the way it once did.
The treatment when close vision starts to fail usually takes the form of non-prescription reading glasses, if you have no other refractive errors affecting your sight. These provide simple magnification measured in diopters. Typical strengths are +1.00 diopter (the weakest correction) to +3.00 (a stronger correction).
When reading glasses are no longer powerful enough to bring close objects into focus, you can move to prescription lenses in various configurations. In many cases, you can choose contact lenses if you prefer not to wear glasses.
Think of an IOL as a permanent contact lens that’s implanted in your eye, replacing your natural lens. If your vision is within certain parameters, IOLs have the potential to restore a full range of sight, from near to far, without the need for glasses or contacts.
New generations of IOLs have capabilities beyond those typically used for cataract surgery. You can choose IOLs for presbyopia as the lens used in a cataract procedure as well as for a refractive lens exchange, where cataracts aren’t present.
While lens replacement procedures are common and safe, they are invasive eye surgeries that carry some inherent risks. Not all vision issues can be corrected to eliminate the need for other corrective lenses. You may still need eyeglasses or contacts after IOL surgery.
To learn more about the capability of presbyopia-correcting IOLs, as well as your suitability for the procedure, call or click to arrange a consultation with Dr. Bergman. An eye exam and review of your history will establish how you’ll benefit from this exciting new technique. Book your appointment today.