Excitement is in the air,
as a revolution in technology allows people over the age of 40 to see not only far away, but up close, too!
Presbyopia, or “too many candles on the birthday cake” happens to everyone sometime over age 40. By age 60, 80% of the population have cataracts, a clouding of the crystalline lens inside the eye, resulted in blurred vision.
We use intraocular lenses (IOL’s) approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the correction of presbyopia (literally, “old eyes”!). In the past, we corrected cataracts with standard, monofocal lenses. These IOL’s have a fixed point of focus. Typically, most folks want to see well to drive, so the target we choose is for the best distance vision. When cataracts affect our daily activities, like driving at night, insurances will pay for the procedure. Visually significant means that the cataract must be:
- affecting the activities of daily living (ADL’s), and
- decreasing the vision to a level that matches the cataract seen on the doctor’s examination that also meets insurance criteria. So, for example, if the vision is 20/40 and decreases to 20/80 with glare, and glare is affecting night driving (an ADL) then the surgery is medically necessary and insurance will pay for it.
Insurance typically does not pay for the upgrade to a presbyopia correcting lens. Since 2005, Medicare has allowed patients to pay out-of-pocket for lifestyle premium lens implant packages that provide refractive abilities, such as near, distance and most everywhere in between.
One of the most popular lens implants over the past several months is the Tecnis Symfony IOL.
The Crystalens AO is considered an accommodating lens, so it uses your own eye muscle to focus. The purpose premium, lifestyle, refractive lens implants is to decrease the dependence on eyeglasses, although the majority of patients usually don’t need to wear glasses. sometimes people will wear “cheaters” (over the counter reading glasses) to help with specialized tasks, such as reading in bed, in poor light, prolonged computer use, seeing tiny print such as a number in the phone book, or on a medicine bottle, etc.
For more information you may wish to visit http://www.20better.com. You can schedule an appointment on-line or contact us here.
The Harman Eye Clinic
903 Medical Center Drive, Arlington WA 98223
360-474-2561 360-435-8595 FAX 360-435-5233