LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Lens implants are used to treat patients with cataracts, but most lenses only focus on specific vision issues, like nearsightedness or farsightedness. In this Healthcast, we have information on a new multi-focal lens that is transforming the vision of cataract patients.
As we age, so do our eyes and by the time you reach senior citizen status, odds are you also have cataracts. This is something that Doctors Hart and Menard at Hart Eye Center have treated in hundreds of patients.
Optometrist Keith Menard explains, "Your cornea is the clear, front portion of the eye. There's a lens behind the color portion of the eye and that lens is what becomes cloudy. The cloudiness is what is known as a cataract."
"The first change you'll notice is when you're 40 and you need bifocals," says ophthalmologist William Hart, "that's the sign that the lens is getting harder, stiffer and by age 60-65, most people have a little bit of cataract and by age 70, everybody has some cataract."
The treatment of cataracts for the past 15 years has come full circle. In the past, a person would only have a lens implant to treat the vision problem if they were at the point of close to no visibility. Now, through only a two millimeter incision, doctors can remove the cataract and replace the cloudy lens with a plastic lens implant. "We remove that structure, but since the eye's optical function depends on that lens," says Dr. Hart, "we have to put a replacement part in, so that's what a lens implant is."
Most lens implants do not fully correct a person's vision problem. After getting a standard implant, many patients still need to use glasses to read, but the newest technology that Hart Eye Center is working with is the TECNIS multi-focal lens that can improve vision at all distances. "With a TECNIS multi-focal, we've had very good results with having people be able to see distance, mid-range and near," says Dr. Hart.
While some patients still need to follow up with LASIK if they want to toss the glasses forever, the TECNIS multi-focal lens implant is helping to restore the vision people once had in their youth.