The FDA recently approved the new Tecnis Symfony intraocular lens (IOL). It will be the only lens in the United States that provides a full range of continuous vision after cataract surgery, while also mitigating the effects of presbyopia, and OCLI will be offering it by the end of the month to patients who undergo cataract surgery.
Cataracts are extremely common, and nearly 25.7 million people worldwide have them. Fortunately, cataract surgery is very safe, and it’s actually one of the most performed surgeries in the U.S. according to Medicare. Cataracts are formed when proteins clump together in the eye’s lens and cause a cloudiness that blocks light and makes it difficult to see.
Cataracts can form gradually and begin to make everyday activities difficult. It’s preferred that patients assess for themselves how their cataracts affect them, and if surgery will improve their quality of life, it’s usually suggested to have them removed.
During cataract surgery, a small slit is made in the side of the eye’s cornea. The clouded lens is broken up using ultrasound, and then removed from the eye. It’s replaced with an artificial IOL that will allow you to see clearly again.
The Tecnis Symfony IOL is different from traditional IOLs because it doesn’t split light between near and distance focal points. Jason Jones, MD, of the Jones Eye Clinic in Sioux City, Iowa, and a clinical investigator for the Tecnis Symfony IOL, tells us,
“Rather, a diffractive echelette design feature extends the range of vision, while achromatic technology reduces chromatic aberration to increase contrast sensitivity and enhance quality of vision.”
The approval was based on a study that found patients using Symfony lenses were more likely to achieve reduced eyeglasses wear and high overall visual performance in any lighting condition.
The clinical trials also showed low incidences of glare and halos—some of the most common side effects after cataract surgery. In clinical studies the Symfony lens provided sharp, clear day-to-night vision, high-quality vision overall, and low incidences of glare or halos.
The new lens also mitigates the effects of presbyopia, providing an extended depth of focus. That’s important because presbyopia, or age-related farsightedness, and cataracts both develop as people get older. Using cataract surgery to provide relief for both is an important step in improving the quality of life in patients who come in for cataract surgery.
At OCLI, we’re always looking for the latest advances in eye care, and we’re happy to announce that we’ll soon be one of the first practices to offer the Symfony lens for our cataract patients.
If you think you may be developing cataracts, then don’t hesitate to make an appointment to have your eyes examined. And if you’re considering cataract surgery and want to learn more about your options, then consider making an appointment with one of our doctors at OCLI today, and completing the cataract evaluation test on our website.