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Clarity after cataract

health-and-fitness Updated: Mar 26, 2011 22:56 IST
Dr Mahipal S Sachdev
Dr Mahipal S Sachdev
Hindustan Times
Highlight Story

New-age lenses help get rid of glasses post surgery

In tropical countries such as India, age-related cataract — gradual and painless clouding of the eye’s natural lens — occurs earlier, at times striking people in 40s. The only effective treatment is surgery, which involves replacing the natural lens with a clear intraocular lens (IOL).

Until recently, IOLs provided distance vision but did not replicate the ability of the eye to adjust to objects at varying distances. This forced people to use reading glasses or bifocals after surgery.

A new generation of multi-focal IOLs incorporate a series of concentric rings to provide multiple focusing zones for a full range of vision — near, intermediate and far. More than 70 per cent of the patients with a multi-focal IOL are able to read, drive and work on the computer without glasses.

Some people, report problems with night vision, such as halos, glare or ghost (multiple) images. These problems usually resolve with time, but may, in some cases, never completely go away. Still,the ability to see outweighs the side effects.
An accommodative IOL mimics the natural focusing action of the eye without the drawbacks of glares or ghost images. Crystalens is the only FDA-approved accommodative IOL in India.

While a normal stitchless cataract surgery with an aspheric foldable IOL costs about Rs 45,000 per eye, the cost increases to Rs.65,000 for a multifocal foldable IOL. In case of Crystalens, the price is Rs.1.3 lakh per eye.
Dr Sachdev is the chairman and medical director of the Centre for Sight Group of eye hospitals