Have Cataracts? New Technology Improves Near, Middle, and Distance Vision, Minimizes Side Effects


Cataract is a long-known eye condition often associated with old age. It is primarily characterized by clouding of the eye lens in one or both eyes. For decades, the goal of cataract treatment was to remove the cataract without making the patient blind. However, cataract surgery has evolved over the years. Modern surgical procedures for correcting cataracts are relatively safe and promote fast healing, thanks to advancing technologies.

Modern cataract surgeries, such as laser-assisted surgery and other synthetic lens replacements, can fix cataracts and other vision problems. The best part is that current surgeries remove cataracts and restore the patient’s vision. Initially, patients had to rely on prescription contacts and glasses for years. Ophthalmologists can now put prescriptions inside new lenses to improve vision.

The Symfony intraocular lens implant is among the technologies recently approved by the FDA for cataract treatment. This new optical technology provides patients with an extended range of vision, improving near, middle, and distant vision.

A Look at Previous Technologies

Before Symfony IOL was approved, ophthalmologists used various options to restore vision for cataract patients. The most common being multifunctional lenses, which use diffractive technology. While these lenses give perfect near and distant vision, mid-range vision is limited. Most patients also reported seeing halos.

Another corrective cataract treatment was accommodative lenses, which could move back and forth to change the lens’ focal length. The main drawback of accommodative lenses is the varying flexibility of individual patients’ ciliary muscles. Also, the capsule that holds the lens in place can limit or displace its movement.

Unlike other previous technologies, Symfony IOL gives a larger, continuous range of vision. While some patients might need glasses to read the extremely fine print, this technology eliminates the halos and glares associated with mono-focal lenses.

An Overview of Symfony Intraocular Lens Implant

The Symfony IOL, developed by Optic Lab, is probably the only intraocular lens with augmented depth of visual field. Unlike other lenses, this lens offers a wide and high-definition field of view. It also significantly reduces the risk of adverse effects associated with cataract surgeries, such as halos and glares.

To achieve these results, this lens combines two new technologies, Echolette design, and achromatic technology. The Echolette design elongates the eye focus, giving an extended vision. Monofocal lenses typically have one focal point, while multifocal lenses have two for near and distance foci. Unlike these lenses, the Symfony lens has only one elongated focal point, which gives near, mid-range, and distant vision.

The other technology is achromatic technology, which increases contrast sensitivity. This technology manipulates colors in a visual spectrum. It focuses all colors with different wavelengths on the same point. This corrects normal aberrations and improves contrast and vision.

Like other cataract surgeries, Symfony IOL is often inserted during cataract surgery. Most patients recover fully within 24 hours. A New Zealand clinical study evaluating the effectiveness of Symfony IOL found that:

  • Patients with Symfony IOL had a comparable focus on far objects with eyesight
  • All patients in the study didn’t need glasses to focus on distant objects. 94% of participants didn’t need glasses to focus on mid-range objects.
  • There were no negative effects of lens usage
  • Patients reported no risk of halos around light

What Makes Symfony IOL Different?

Symfony IOL differs from previous technologies in the following ways:

  1. Clear Vision at all Distances

Traditional surgeries only resolved either near or distant vision issues. Patients had to rely on prescription lenses to enjoy clear near, mid-range, and distant vision. This isn’t the case with Symfony IOL. This technology also eliminates the rough transition between various distances often experienced with traditional lenses. It offers a smooth transition between near, mid-range, and distant vision.

  1. No Dependence on Prescription Lenses

Traditional IOL only treated one field of vision. Patients had to use prescription lenses to enjoy clear vision at different distances. Ideally, traditional IOL implants correct distant vision, forcing patients to rely on glasses for distant or up-close tasks. The need for prescription lenses couldn’t be eliminated, even with multifocal lenses. However, patients with Symfony IOL don’t need reading glasses for reading and other close-up activities.

  1. Eliminates Glares and Halos

Most patients with multifocal intraocular lenses experienced serious halos, glares, nighttime dysphotopsia, and starbursts. Light entering the retina typically creates multiple images to facilitate near and distant vision. However, when light splits up in the retina, stray light materializes as halos, glares, or distorts vision. Patients with Symfony IOL recovering from surgery didn’t report halos and glares.

The Bottom Line

Cataract surgery typically involves removing and replacing the natural eye lens to restore vision. Symfony IOL implants are among the latest technology for treating cataracts with minimal side effects. However, it isn’t safe for patients with previous eye injuries, eye bleeding, or eye infections.

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