FDA approves tri-focal lenses for cataract patients

Updated: Nov. 14, 2019 at 10:55 AM CST
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Cataracts affect more than 24 million Americans over the age of 40, but now those in the U.S have the chance to try a new FDA approved lens. Over the last few years, Steve McNeal has seen a steady decline in his vision.

“With the cataract with night time vision, there was a lot of glare from oncoming headlights, any lights made it difficult to see,” patient Steve McNeal said. “and of course I’ve been wearing reading glasses for close to 20 years now.”

However, the FDA recently approved PanOptix lenses for those struggling with cataracts, a condition that clouds the lenses of the eye.

"It’s been used in Europe for years, it’s the top selling implant in 80 countries,” ophthalmologist Dr. Jon Yokubaitis said. “A half a million of them have been implanted already.”

In the past, patients often depended on corrective lenses after receiving surgery, but with the new PanOptix lenses, things are changing.

“It has multiple focus points that allow you to see not only at a distance like a traditional lenses, but also you have focal points for arm’s length for like a computer and up close for reading.” Dr. Yokubaitis said

Yokubaitis was eager to use the tri-focal lenses implant here in Lake Charles. Steve was his first patient to have the surgery.

"He felt like he was comfortable and I was ready to be the guinee pig,” McNeal said.

In less than a month, Steve had surgery on both eyes and says the change in his vision was almost immediate.

“Life is great now without having to have cheaters or readers. I had gotten in the habit of always carrying my readers right here and turns out I still have that habit but there is no longer glasses there,” McNeal said.

Since the successful surgery, Dr. Yokubaitis says more than 15 of his patients have tri-focal lenses.

“You see this need every day in our patients that with the bifocal implants that we traditionally had,” Dr. Yokubaitis said. “They still had to use reading glasses and they been an advance but still people wanted better.”

Steve says he is grateful for the opportunity to get back something he had lost.

“There is so many things in life that you take for granted, that you don’t realize until you don’t have it,” McNeal said.

If you are interested in learning more about tri-focal lenses, visit PanOptix website.

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