Extended Depth of Focus Vision (Distance and enhanced mid-range and near vision) Cataract Surgery
Like most people, you probably find yourself having to take reading glasses on or off to see at various distances, and most people find this to be inconvenient and cumbersome. Because life requires being able to see at far and near, you may very likely have several pairs of reading glasses, perhaps in every room of the house! Or perhaps you are wearing a bifocal or trifocal that limits your field of vision and near and mid-range.
Today’s modern cataract surgery now allows patients to have many choices in the types of lenses that can be implanted during cataract surgery, and among them is an extended depth of focus intraocular lens implant (IOL) such as the Tecnis Symfony IOL. Unlike monofocal (standard) IOLs that allow patients to see at only one distance, the Symfony IOL is designed to allow improved vision at various distances. The Symfony accomplishes this by lengthening your focus range, resulting in an increased depth to your vision at various distances. The goal of the Symfony IOL is to provide functional, high quality vision from far distance up to about 26 inches away. Although patients might still prefer to wear reading glasses for prolonged reading, the majority of patients electing an extended depth of focus IOL will find that they do not depend upon glasses for daily activities such as driving, watching television, using a cell phone or computer, or reading menus. Medicare and other insurance providers will cover all or part of surgery utilizing a traditional IOL, but they will require you to pay the difference in cost between a standard IOL and extended depth of focus IOL. This will be explained in more detail at the time of your consultation.
The extended depth of focus implant, such as the Symfony IOL, uses technology similar to technology used in the highest quality, professional-grade camera lenses. This technology reduces what is known as chromatic aberration. Much like a prism separates light into colors like a rainbow, the same effect can happen with intraocular lens implants, and this degrades the quality of vision seen through an implant. The Symfony IOL has a level of chromatic aberration that is so low that it is even lower than what a healthy, non-cataract human lens has. This technology uses achromatic technology and diffractive optics to bring light into a range of sharper focus, not just a single point. This allows individuals to see across a wider, more continuous range of vision.
The Symfony IOL is also available in a toric (astigmatism) IOL option, which allows for correction of astigmatism in addition to nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Depending upon the pupil size, the extended depth of focus IOL can create some halos, glare, or starbursts around lights at night. These halos are much different than the ones created by cataracts, and much less intrusive and bothersome for patients. As the brain adapts and learns how to selectively ignore these halos, they will become less noticeable and problematic. This process is called neuroadaptation, and how quickly it happens depends upon the individual. In most instances, neuroadaptation occurs over the span of several months, but as the brain makes these automatic adjustments to how your vision is processed, almost all patients report continued improvement with the quality of vision over time.
Missouri Eye Institute-Springfield and Joplin each utilize a femtosecond laser on premises to provide laser-assisted cataract surgery for all types of cataract surgery. This laser platform allows the surgeon to create 3-D imaging of your eye, which provides more accurate information and treatment choices during your cataract removal. The laser’s advanced technology allows the surgeon to use precisely-placed laser
pulses to effectively soften the cataract for removal, and it reduces risk of infection during the procedure. It helps to ensure the most appropriate condition for the best lens placement, which ultimately helps to restore your vision to its fullest potential. Additionally, the laser can be used to aid in the correction of astigmatism, an eye condition that causes the curvature of the front of the eye (cornea) to not be perfectly round. The femtosecond laser can be used to correct minor to moderate amounts of astigmatism by creating incisions to relax the curvature of the cornea, thereby reducing or eliminating astigmatism. The use of the femtosecond laser during extended depth of focus IOL cataract surgery is included in the fees for this type of implant.
Finally, if implantation of an extended depth of focus IOL does not allow optimal vision for your specific visual demands, Missouri Eye Institute offers a Vision Quality Pledge that provides further laser vision correction at no additional charge within the first six months after your procedure. We want you to be able to see your best, and are the only ophthalmology group in southwest Missouri to offer a quality pledge.