Success from the most advanced type of IOLs - Daily Express

Success from the most advanced type of IOLs - Daily Express
04 May 2009

Sheraz Daya, consultant ophthalmologist at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, West Sussex, says the reason people need reading glasses as they age is because of the gradual stiffening and enlarging of the eye’s crystalline lens which helps us focus on objects at varying distances.

Denis Fusell has become one of the first patients to benefit from the test type of surgically implanted intraocular lenses.

Read the original article here.

By Hilary Freeman

Tuesday May 19,2009

Nothing says you’ve reached a “certain age” more than having a pair of reading glasses perched on the end of your nose. Yet baby boomers are discarding their spectacles in favour of surgically implanted intraocular lenses (IOLs). These replacement lenses work with the eye muscles to help you focus.

Sheraz Daya, consultant ophthalmologist at the Queen Victoria Hospital in East Grinstead, West Sussex, says the reason people need reading glasses as they age is because of the gradual stiffening and enlarging of the eye’s crystalline lens which helps us focus on objects at varying distances.

“When we’re young, this lens is like jelly. As we age it stiffens and hardens and loses its ability to focus, creating vision problems. This is called presbyopia.”

Many people experience the early effects of presbyopia in their mid-40s. Eventually it leads to the formation of cataracts. By the age of 65 the majority of us will develop a cataract, a clouding of the lens which causes fuzzy vision and difficulty seeing in bright light or low lighting. Cataract operations which involve removing the natural lens and fitting a basic type of IOL are the most commonly performed procedures in the UK.

Denis Fusell, 58, managing director of an electrical contracting company from Bristol, is one of the first people to benefit from the newest and most advanced type of IOLs known as a Crystalens HD accommodating lens. Before this he was short-sighted and needed reading glasses. Now he says his vision is as good as it was when he was a child.

Denis wore contact lenses from the age of 18. In his 40s he began wearing monovision lenses which corrected his vision for both reading and distance. “As I got older my eyes changed and I started to find them very uncomfortable. My optician told me that the quality of my tears had deteriorated. Hay fever also made my eyes feel itchy and irritated all the time. I hated wearing glasses. For my high prescription they are extremely thick and heavy. Having to wear glasses would have impeded my life too as I enjoy sports like swimming and skiing.

“I looked into laser eye surgery but I wasn’t suitable because my corneas are too thin. Even if I did have it I would still need reading glasses, which I’d have had to wear all the time because I do lots of close work in my job.”

Denis struggled on with his contact lenses but when he went to the optician for his check-up last autumn, he was told there was a new procedure at the Centre for Sight at the Queen Victoria Hospital that might be suitable. In December, following a consultation Mr Daya fitted him with the Crystalens HD accommodating lens.

“Unlike standard IOLs which often leave patients needing glasses for near vision, or multifocal IOLs, which leave up to eight per cent of patients with halos and the loss of intermediate (computer distance) vision, Crystalens HD lenses correct distance, intermediate and near vision,” explains Mr Daya. “They are made of flexible material which moves with the eye just like a natural lens. Following surgery about 80 per cent of patients will have 20/20 vision.”

The procedure takes about 30 minutes and is performed under local anaesthetic. One eye is operated on at a time, usually about a week apart.

The surgeon puts in eye drops and makes a small incision in the eye. Ultrasound is then used to break up the old lens. The incision is extended to about 2.5mm, allowing the insertion of the new lens, which unfurls inside the eye and is moved into place. Side effects such as infection, swelling or retinal detachment are rare. Studies show that fewer than one per cent of patients experience reduced vision after surgery.

They cost between £2,500 and £3,000 per eye and are available privately at six centres across the UK. Denis is delighted with the results.

“I didn’t have one moment of pain,” he says. “The day after surgery my vision was very good. I could see better than I did when I was 14 and it got better and better. I now have 20/20 distance vision. Occasionally I need reading glasses in poor light but I’ve been told that once my eye muscles build up my ability to read should improve.

“It can take a year to get the full benefit of the procedure. Even better, I no longer need to worry about getting cataracts.”

“The reason people used to tolerate reading glasses is because there was no choice,” says Milind Pande of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists’ refractive surgery committee. “Now options are available. Why should anyone wait until they get a cataract? This way, they can enjoy vision at all distances. For many they are bringing forward an operation that they will have to have in their lifetime anyway.”

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