Crystalens AO: Changing the way you see the world

October 5th, 2012

A new product from Bausch + Lomb is giving patients crisper, brighter vision, at all distances.


What is crystalens?

Crystalens is a remarkable breakthrough that works by mimicking the action of that ingenious invention: the human eye. It’s an ‘intraocular lens’ that uses the eye muscle to flex in order to focus on whatever you need to see. Crystalens is designed to allow the optic to move back and forth as patients constantly change focus on images around them.

Unlike standard intraocular (IOL) lenses, Crystalens not only treats cataracts but also can treat ‘presbyopia’, the loss of near and intermediate vision that affects many people from middle age onwards. In fact, it can reduce or even eliminate their need for spectacles to help patients read, use a PC or drive a car.

The latest lens in the Crystalens range, Crystalens AO has the added advantage of the Bausch + Lomb Advanced Optics platform which means the lens is also aberration free.

Standard spherical lenses create positive spherical aberrations as the peripheral rays come to a shorter focus than the central rays. This results in degradation in retinal image quality, causing a loss in contrast sensitivity.

Aspheric lenses which try to make adjustments for the natural irregularities can cause problems as every patient has a unique optical system. Aspheric lenses using aberrated optics can potentially cause visual impairment if ocular misalignment occurs, leading to higher order aberrations such as coma.

Aberration free lenses like the Crystalens AO, are neutral to the cornea, making them suitable for all patients regardless of corneal shape. This leaves the eye with its natural degree of corneal positive spherical aberration, with an improved contrast sensitivity, but provides patients with a good depth of field.

What the consultants are saying…

Mr Milind Pande from the Hull & East Riding Hospital in Anlaby, East Yorkshire says:
‘The Crystalens provides an excellent focal range for all my patients. It is particularly good for people who work in a stressful environment and need to react to changing situations. Just one example is an anaesthetist colleague who developed a cataract in his only seeing eye. Crystalens provided the ideal solution in his case. After careful consideration and counselling, highlighting the pros and cons of the Crystalens, I operated on him with very good results. He now works without glasses and is extremely happy.’

Mr Say Aun Quah from the Regency in Macclesfield, Cheshire says:
‘I select Crystalens for my patients who want to avoid the symptoms of haloes associated with multifocal lenses. It is my premium lens choice in patients who want uncompromised post-operative vision.’

Mr Sundeep Kheterpal from the Thames Valley Hospital in Wexham, Buckinghamshire says:
‘The clarity of vision is superb with none of the visual aberrations seen in multifocal lenses. I have implanted many of these and have found patient satisfaction levels very high with the majority very happy to recommend this lens to friends and relatives.’

Mr Som Prasad from the Murrayfield Hospital in the Wirral, Merseyside comments:
‘I saw a patient recently who was being admitted for his second eye procedure. He was very impressed with the results of his first operation a few weeks ago and can see perfectly, almost immediately. His only regret was that he had not had the operation sooner. Most of the cost for this was met by his insurer and he said it was the equivalent price of a pair of designer specs.’

Crystalens from a patient’s perspective…

Ian Sibley was recently treated with the Crystalens by Consultant Mr Chris McLean from the Guildford Clinic in Guildford, Surrey. This is what Ian said about his vision following implantation with the Crystalens: ‘My vision has never been so good, I feel like I have got my life back. My IT business was suffering as a result of my poor vision and I had to print off menus prior to visiting restaurants.’ Chris McLean who has been using the Crystalens since 2010 says: ‘I have been impressed with the Crystalens AO system in delivering excellent distance vision combined with an impressive range of accommodation. My patients are delighted to tell me that they have never seen so well at any time before the operation.’

Cataracts: 10 Frequently Asked Questions

September 14th, 2012

Picture of an early cataract with the lens becoming opaque

1. What is a cataract?

A cataract develops when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. Less light is able to get into the eye and so images appear dull. This usually happens as part of the natural aging process of the lens.

2. How are cataracts detected?

Usually cataracts are found during a routine visit to your optician. Your optician will be able to give you advice as to how advanced the cataract has become.

3. Do cataracts always need to be removed?

An early cataract may give no significant symptoms and can be monitored by your optician. But, if your vision is becoming blurry and is affecting your driving, reading or leisure activities then it is time to consider having the cataract removed.

4. Can both eyes be operated on at once?

Although this is possible in theory, it is best to operate on each eye separately.

5. How are cataracts removed?

Cataracts are removed by an operation, called phakoemulsification. The operation is often performed under a local anaesthetic as a day case procedure.   During the operation the lens is gently separated into fragments and removed from the eye. A new permanent, artificial lens is then placed inside the eye.

6. Does the operation involve a laser?

Cataract surgery utilises a phakoemulsifier, which looks like a large pen. This gently breaks the cataract into pieces by using  ultrasound. Lasers are not used to remove a cataract routinely.

7. Will I see what is happening during the operation?

The anaesthetic used during the operation makes the vision temporarily blurry and so at the most you see a dim light during  surgery. It may be hard to believe but many people doze off during surgery as the operating theatre is very quiet with a relaxed atmosphere.

8. How safe is cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is one of the most frequently performed operations today. This would not be the case if the operation was very risky. The vast majority of patients benefit from improved vision after surgery. However, no operation is risk free and before deciding to have surgery any concerns should be discussed.

9. Will my eye be painful after the operation?

After surgery most people experience only mild discomfort or grittiness and this can be relieved by using paracetamol tablets.

10. Do I need to change my glasses after surgery?

After cataract surgery most people notice that the quality of their vision is greatly improved especially brightness and colour perception. However, glasses are still necessary for reading as the implant lens has a fixed focus. Long distance vision (i.e. for driving) can also benefit from a change in spectacles. It is best to wait for 4-5 weeks after surgery before visiting your  local  optician. It is often possible to resume driving before getting new glasses.

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