10th Oct 2018
Good news for cataract sufferers
Author: Janelle Ward
Good news for cataract sufferers

The bad news is that about one in two Australians will develop cataracts before they reach their 70s; the good news is that cataract operations are generally quick and easy with about  250,000 being performed every year.

The other good news is that a trial of a new multifocal intraocular lens in Sydney is producing exciting results.

Cataract surgery is needed when the eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy and impairs vision. During the surgery, which takes about 10 minutes and involves just a few hours in hospital for most, an ultrasound device breaks up the cloudy lens into small pieces, these are removed via suction, and an artificial lens inserted

Dr Patrick Versace, an ophthalmologist at Vision Eye Institute, says there are about 200 lenses to choose from but only about 10 per cent are multifocal. 

“The benefit of a multifocal lens for a patient is they can see far to drive, to watch television, they can see a computer screen. And they can read their phone without being dependent on glasses, so it's a huge benefit,” Dr Versace told nine.com.au.

The Femtis lens has been trialled in Europe for 18 months with “compelling results”, he said.

“It's showing a clear benefit in terms of the ability of the lens to be centred in the eye, in the required position and to be stable over time. And a trend towards more refractive predictability, in terms of the outcome for the patient.”

Lens selection is a really important part of the process as it dictates what your vision will be like after the surgery. The ‘right’ lens for you depends on what you want from the surgery and the guidance you get from your surgeon. If your aim is to never wear glasses again, there are several options, with advancements in the development of a multifocal lens adding extra choice.

The Vision Eye Institute explains that multifocal lenses might be the best option “as they have a number of focal points to give clear distance and near vision”. However, in some cases, patients opt to have monovision, where one replacement lens corrects distance vision and the other near vision. The result is that vision is generally excellent near and far.

I had cataract surgery about three years ago and my surgeon did not advise multifocal artificial lenses at that time. I opted for monovision and I’m delighted with the result. Distance glasses and reading glasses have been binned. I can’t say my golf has improved though.

Have you had cataract surgery? Were you pleased with the result? Did you opt for multifocal lenses?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    11th Oct 2018
    I've just been told that I have cataracts and am on the waiting list to have my eyes refurbished. I hope that multimodal lenses will be available to me. Having had to wear glasses since age 19, it would be nice to have 20/20 vision without the need for glasses to end my life.
    11th Oct 2018
    I'm a tad confused. The author had mono modal lenses fitted, claiming it improved his distance AND reading. My understanding is that mono lenses can do one or the other but not both. I may have misunderstood, but can anyone provide some clarity on this please? Thanks.
    11th Oct 2018
    Ah - Just found the answer. One lens fitted is for distance and the other is fitted for near vision. So both eyes need to be done at the same time and it seems the eyes compensate depending on what you are doing at the time.

    Gives me a headache just thinking about it! Quite amazing though.

    So I'm fixed - hold the phone.
    12th Oct 2018
    Mmm. Yes, I would be reluctant to choose that option. I can't even manage multifocals as it is.
    12th Oct 2018
    I already wear mono vision contact lenses - one for distance and t'other for reading - and find them excellent. Have been told before that my eyes are not suitable for the laser correction surgery.

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