Complex refractive vision correction
In recent years, surgery using the insertion of a multifocal intraocular lens has emerged as a successful alternative to the long-term use of reading glasses. This is a relatively minor procedure in which the age-altered natural eye lens that has lost the ability of accommodation is removed and replaced with an artificial lens that is implanted into the lens capsule. The multifocal lens is designed with many focal points, which assures the correct focusing of light on the fundus of the eye when looking from a distance and from up close. In addition to correcting age-related farsightedness, we can also use a multifocal lens to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.
Results and the process of adaptation
Over 85 percent of our patients are completely independent from having to use eyeglasses for reading, using the computer, driving and/or practicing sports after multifocal lens insertion. Despite good proven results, it is possible that some individuals may still require eyeglasses when performing more demanding work or in poorly lit conditions. In all cases, patients must get used to the multifocal lens and learn to see near and far objects, which requires time. The adaptation can take up to several weeks or months.
Refractive error correction surgery only for healthy eyes
In order to achieve good surgery results, it is important to carefully evaluate the patient because not all patients are good candidates for age-related refractive vision correction. The suitability of a patient is determined on the basis of a detailed eye examination that examines the possibility of different diseases of the eye fundus (age-related macular degeneration, other diseases of the macula, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vascular occlusions and others). If any of these eye diseases are present, surgery is not recommended. We know that optimal results and a high degree of satisfaction with multifocal lens insertion is achieved in patients with preceding farsightedness or nearsightedness and in patients with cataracts. Those patients whose eyes are completely healthy and have no refractive error are not suitable candidates for this procedure. Patients with a progressive form of glaucoma or diseases that afflict the cornea are also not suitable for this surgery.
Surgery and recovery
This surgical procedure is the same as for cataract surgery. It is performed as an outpatient surgery under local anaesthesia and takes from 10 to 15 minutes. It is completely painless and can be performed on both eyes simultaneously. Age-related farsightedness as well as nearsightedness and astigmatism are corrected by first removing the natural eye lens through a small, three millimetre thick incision and replacing it with an artificial multifocal lens. After surgery, the patient must adapt to the multifocal lens and learn to look at near and far objects, which can take up to several weeks or months.
The LASEK method, which we use to correct refractive error in nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, is used in patients who have a very thin cornea. This applies to approximately 5 percent of our patients. The essential advantage of surface smoothing techniques is that they are technically less demanding, while the disadvantage is that the restoration of visual acuity is slower after surgery.
It sounds complicated, and if we wanted to explain all the details, it is, but the basic principles of this technique can also be described in a relatively simple and comprehensive manner. The word Wavefront can literally be explained as a frontal wave, a principle that is well known in the field of optical physics, a science that is concerned with the bending of light. Wavefront analysis measures changes in the wavelength of light as it is sent through a type of medium.
Refractive vision correction with intraocular lens implantation is similarly as successful and reliable as laser surgical procedures but is due to its somewhat more limited indications not as widely used or as well known. This procedure of refractive vision correction is performed by implanting an artificial lens into the eye and is also successful in refractive vision correction in patients with a high dioptre as well as in patients whose cornea is too thin to be suitable for laser surgery.