New class of lens brings big benefits
Patients who need to get rid of the cloudy or blurred vision caused by
cataracts can also eliminate the need for distance or reading glasses
in the same procedure, thanks to a breakthrough called the Symfony Lens.
Recently approved by the FDA, this first-of-its-kind lens implant offers
clear vision — at near, intermediate and far distances — while
also correcting age-related farsightedness, astigmatism, and other issues
that diminish vision quality.
“This advancement in lens technology allows patients to perform close-up
activities like reading, use their computers and tablets at intermediate
distance, as well as clearly see objects farther away,” explains
John Zdral, MD, a board-certified ophthalmologist at
St. Jude Medical Center and one of the first in Southern California to use the new lens. “Allowing
patients with cataracts to see clearly at all distances — without
depending upon glasses — is a dramatic improvement in care.”
During cataract surgery, the natural lens of the eye is removed and an
artificial lens, called an intraocular lens, or IOL, is inserted. The
IOL most commonly used in cataract surgery is a monofocal lens, which
typically improves distance vision, but leaves closer objects out of focus.
In contrast, the Symfony lens use diffractive optics — similar to
what is used in an advanced photographic lens — to improve both
the range and quality of vision, while also eliminating the glare, halos
and loss of contrast that can accompany other types of lenses.
The Symfony IOL is implanted into the eye during a normal cataract operation,
with patients typically able to return to their usual routine 24 hours
after surgery. “After carefully watching the clinical trials of
this lens as well as its widespread use in Europe, it’s exciting
to offer this choice to patients,” Dr. Zdral says, one of the doctors
chosen for the U.S. Symfony pre-launch. “Because it eliminates the
drawbacks of traditional lens implants, it improves patients’ quality
of life — which is exactly what we’re here to do.”
To learn more, attend St. Jude Medical Center's free class, Cataract
Facts: Regain Your Sight, on April 5 at 6 p.m. For more information, call
(877) 459-DOCS (3627) or visit stjudemedicalcenter.org.