SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Ivanhoe Newswire) — The American Academy of Ophthalmology said cataracts affect nearly 25 million people over 40. Three to four million of them have surgery to fix the clouded, dim vision cataracts cause every year. Now, a cutting-edge lens is now making all the difference for some patients.
Sixty-five-year-old Marc Burch thought his days of reading an iPad without glasses were gone. Cataracts had clouded his vision and reading wasn’t the only problem.
Burch told Ivanhoe, “It was embarrassing before, cause would go and I’d see the menu, but I couldn’t exactly see real clearly what everything was. So I’d get salads all the time.”
He laughs at it now, but Burch was serious about fixing the cataracts with a lens that allowed him to live his active lifestyle.
Burch waited a year and a half for the FDA to approve the Symfony intraocular lens.
Sandy T. Feldman, M.D., the Medical Director of Clearview Eye and Laser Medical Center in San Diego, California, detailed, “Symfony is the first class of an extended range of vision lens where it can give you the distance and intermediate and reading vision and it also corrects astigmatism.”
During surgery, Dr. Feldman removed the clouded lens and inserted the symfony lens. She said it’s a good option for active adults.
Dr. Feldman said, “We’ve got computers, tablets, smart phones, and we want to see everything. In addition to the menus when we go out. We want to play golf, we want to ski, we want to do all the types of activities that Marc does.”
Burch said the procedure was pain-free and the only downside was having to wait two weeks to have his second eye done.
The Symfony lens also makes it easier for users to transition from day to night vision and it produces less of the halo or glare effect other lenses can cause. It is considered a premium lens, and most insurance companies will not cover the difference between a Symfony lens and a standard, monofocal lens.
Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath Supervising Producer; Wendy Chioji, Field Producer; Milvionne Chery, Assistant Producer; Roque Correa, Editor; Rusty Reed, Videographer.
MEDICAL BREAKTHROUGHS – RESEARCH SUMMARY
TOPIC: Symfony Lens for Cataracts
REPORT: MB #4243
BACKGROUND: A cataract is when the clean lens of an eye becomes cloudy, which makes it difficult to read, drive, or recognize expressions on people’s faces. Symptoms of cataracts include cloudy, blurry, or dim vision, difficultly seeing at night, sensitivity to light and glare, seeing “halos” around lights, requiring better light for reading and similar activities, fading or yellowing of colors, and double vision in a single eye. Cataracts develop when aging or injury changes the tissue in the eye lens. Certain genetic disorders can also be a factor, or medical conditions such as diabetes, past eye surgery, or long term use of steroids. Cataracts form from aging when the lenses in the eye become less flexible, less transparent, and thicker. Age-related and other medical conditions cause tissues within the lens to break down and clump together, clouding small areas within the lens. As the cataract develops, the clouding becomes denser and involves a larger part of the lens. The cataract blocks light from passing through the lens which results in blurred vision. Typically cataracts develop in both eyes, but at different rates so they are uneven. (Source: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/cataracts/home/ovc-20215123) TREATMENT: In July 2016 it was announced that the FDA approved the Tecnis Symfony Intraocular Lenses for the treatment of cataracts. They are the first in a new category of intraocular lenses (IOLs) and the only lenses in the U.S. that provide a full range of continuous high-quality vision following cataract surgery. During cataract surgery, the natural lens of the eye is removed, and an artificial lens (IOL) is inserted into the eye. The symfony lens has been approved in over 50 countries, and has been studied with data from numerous clinical studies involving over 2,000 eyes. The studies showed that patients could see objects sharply and clearly at near, intermediate, and far away distances. Also it demonstrated a low incidence of halo and glare. (Source: http://abbott.mediaroom.com/2016-07-15-FDA-Approves-the-Tecnis-Symfony-Intraocular-Lenses-the-First-and-Only-Extended-Depth-of-Focus-Lenses-for-People-with-Cataracts)
PRECAUTIONS: Cataract surgery risks (irrelevant to lens selection) could affect patients’ vision temporarily or permanently. Rare complications are worsening of vision, bleeding, or infection. Related to risks of use of this lens, there could be a slight loss in vision sharpness with decreased use of glasses. Use of the Symfony lens may make retinal tear repair more difficult.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS REPORT, PLEASE CONTACT:
Vanessa Martino George Mier
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