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News

A breakthrough for cataract patients

Duke University Pratt School Of Engineering : 03 January, 2007  (Technical Article)
Artificial lenses implanted during cataract surgery restore clear vision for millions of patients each year. But the lenses help only at a single focal point, usually distance vision. Recently, the FDA approved new 'bifocal' lenses that restore vision from near to far, eliminating the need for glasses for most wearers.
Artificial lenses implanted during cataract surgery restore clear vision for millions of patients each year. But the lenses help only at a single focal point, usually distance vision. Recently, the FDA approved new 'bifocal' lenses that restore vision from near to far, eliminating the need for glasses for most wearers.

Cataract surgery restores clear vision to almost three million Americans each year, by replacing the eye’s natural lens, which has become cloudy, with an artificial lens implant. But until now, there’s been one big drawback: the new lens is limited to one focal point, usually distance vision. You still need glasses or contacts for near and intermediate vision. Dr. Robin Vann, chief of the comprehensive ophthalmology service at the DukeUniversityEyeCenter, says that’s about to change. “There are now several manufacturers who are making lens implants that give you more than one focal range. Depending on the manufacturer and the design of the lens implant, we have these fancy terms like ‘pseudo-accommodative’ or ‘multi-focal intraocular lenses.’” Vann says the innovative new lenses, which recently gained FDA approval, are, in effect, bifocals that restore the complete range of vision, from near to far. “Upwards of 80 percent of individuals who have had these implants in both their eyes are completely free of glasses for all their vision needs. It will probably be this summer when we’ll start being able to put these in people’s eyes.” I’m Cabell Smith for MedMinute.
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