Clear Lens Extraction
Many patients who are tired of wearing glasses or contacts, particularly those for whom LASIK surgery is not an option, are considering an exciting, new option in vision correction called clear lens extraction. People in their late 40s and 50s are choosing clear lens extraction since they will likely develop cataracts as a normal part of the aging process. Instead of waiting until cataracts dramatically impact their vision, these patients are opting to have the natural crystalline lens removed and replaced with a special intraocular lens that can correct presbyopia, along with other vision problems.
As we enter our 40s, our crystalline lens begins to lose its flexibility. This makes it increasingly difficult for us to change focus in order to see arms length or close objects and reading material. This loss of flexibility is called presbyopia.
While LASIK surgery reshapes the cornea, clear lens extraction removes the natural lens. The patient selects the intraocular lens (IOL) most appropriate for his or her vision and lifestyle objectives. Both the surgery and the lens options are the same type as for cataract surgery. The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and usually only requires a few hours of your time from beginning to end.
Depending on your specific vision requirement and your lifestyle preferences, there are several types of presbyopia-correcting lens implants your surgeon might suggest. For the vast majority of patients, having a presbyopia-correcting lens implant means that you will be able to see at distance and up close with less dependence on glasses.
There are two options that can minimize your reliance on glasses following clear lens extraction. There first option is called an accommodating implant. The accommodating lens implant, such as Crystalens®, actually changes shape within the eye to keep distant or nearer objects in focus. The second type is a multifocal implant. Multifocal implants, such as ReStor® and ReZoom® lenses, achieve enhanced near vision by splitting the light focus from an object into two different focal points, one for distance and one for nearer vision.
Each of these three lenses has slightly different focusing properties, so that careful discussion with your eye surgeon is necessary to determine which may be of most benefit for your individual lifestyle and visual needs. To discuss whether you would be a candidate for clear lens extraction, please call for an evaluation.
Medicare and most insurances do not cover the cost of clear lens extraction. Our staff will be able to review the cost as well as affordable payment options.