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Extended Range Intraocular Lenses Approved by FDA

People with cataracts now have a better option for surgically implanted lenses – a lens which corrects near and far vision so well that eyeglasses are rarely needed.

The TECNIS Symfony® Intraocular Lens has been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of cataracts. It works by spreading light over an extended range within the eye, allowing a full range of continuous high-quality vision. This is a breakthrough in the field of optical lenses, since other surgically implanted lenses focus at a single distance, usually far. To focus on near objects, reading glasses are usually needed.

Cataracts are the most common cause of vision loss in people over 40, resulting in blurred or foggy vision and even blindness. Nearly 4 million cataract surgeries are performed each year in the U.S., and that number is expected to increase.

During cataract surgery, the natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL). The new Symfony lens allows focusing at near and far distances without loss of clarity. This means that additional eyewear such as reading glasses or distance spectacles are often not needed at all.

In most cases, recovery time after surgery is minimal with the Symfony lens. Most patients were able to return to their normal routine after 24 hours, with no reports of lens-related adverse effects.

Clinical studies have shown that the new lens provides high-quality vision in day and night conditions with very little halo or glare. A version of the lens is also available with correction for astigmatism.

If you have cataracts, ask your ophthalmologist about your options. If surgery is recommended, this new type of intraocular lens may be right for you.

June 7, 2017