New Technology Removes Cataracts and Improves Vision

Kim Wilson, BSc, MSc

Cataract patients may now choose to have a multifocal implantable lens which corrects for distance, intermediate and near vision. During surgery, the patient's cataract or cloudy crystalline lens is removed and replaced by the foldable multifocal lens which then unfolds once positioned in the eye.

"This lens is significant to the elderly", said Dr. Allan Slomovic, Clinical Director of the Cornea and External Ocular Diseases at the Toronto Hospital (Western Division), and the Program Director in the Department of Ophthalmology at the University of Toronto. Dr. Slomovic is one of eleven ophthalmologists originally performing this surgery in Canada, and he says "this foldable lens allows for a very small incision of about 3.2 mm, which allows the eye to heal faster and the patient recovers their vision quickly."

Other foldable lenses are available, but the multifocal lens has the added advantage of correcting for distance, intermediate and near vision. The multifocal lens has a series of zones with different refractive powers, allowing the patient to see a range of distances. Each zone has different refractive powers, with zones one, three and five allowing the eyes to focus on objects at a distance, while zones two and four allow focusing of near objects.

The multifocal lens was developed by Allergan Inc. in California.