The Tecnis IOL is a clear intraocular lens (IOL) that replaces the eye’s natural lens and restores vision including night vision. While some people notice vision improvement immediately, most will see clearer the following day.
The unique design of the Tecnis IOL provides many benefits. The lens addresses the spherical aberrations in the cornea. The Tecnis IOL can allow for vision correction far superior to traditional lenses, and the correction comparable to the eyesight of a young adult.
Though some patients may require corrective lenses in some situations after their procedure, most will enjoy excellent vision. The haziness and blurred vision of cataracts disappear, and color vision returns to full saturation. Controlled studies have shown that the Tecnis IOL provides up to a 31% improvement in contrast sensitivity in normal light conditions compared to traditional lenses.
Perhaps most impressive is the improvement in night vision with the Tecnis IOL. Studies have shown that patients enjoy up to a 53% improvement in contrast sensitivity in low-light conditions over traditional lenses. Ability to detect a pedestrian while driving at night was significantly greater with the Tecnis IOL in direct comparison with a control lens. Many patients report that after their procedure they regain confidence to drive at night.
The Tecnis lens also has concentric areas that react to light differently. However, its design is based on Wavefront technology data: the same technology used for laser vision correction (Custom LASIK). This corrects myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, and other vision defects in the same way as LASIK and corrective lens, and provides better night vision than standard IOLs.
As with any surgery, there are some risks associated with the Tecnis lens. Though rare, the eye may react adversely to the intraocular lens, resulting in infection, inflammation, and/or thinning of the cornea. Prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses may be necessary in some situations following implantation of the Tecnis lens.
Toric IOL Options for Astigmatism
Astigmatism is a condition that occurs when the cornea has an oval shape instead of a spherical shape and causes blurry vision at all distances. Toric IOLs are designed to compensate for this while simultaneously correcting near and distance vision in the same way as glasses or contact lenses. These IOLs are known as “Premium Lenses” because of this double correction.
A toric lens can be implanted during cataract surgery to correct a patient’s astigmatism, thereby eliminating or reducing the need for glasses following cataract surgery. While cataract surgery can improve distance vision, a Toric lens is an excellent solution to correct astigmatism during the same procedure, further reducing the need for eyewear following the surgery.
The FDA approved the AcrySof® IQ Toric IOL (Alcon) in September 2005. Toric IOLs can correct 1.50 to 3.00 D of astigmatism. This lens also is available in aspheric versions for crisper vision. Different models can filter potentially damaging ultra-violet or blue light.
Risks include poor vision due to the lens rotating out of position, with the possibility of further surgery to reposition or replace the IOL. These can be discussed with your cataract surgeon at Northeastern Eye Institute.