SHREVEPORT, La. — Cataract surgery has been around for decades. But technology has upped the game.
A cataract is a natural clouding and hardening of the lens of the eye over time. Ophthalmologists have done cataract surgery to replace a person’s natural lens with a clear plastic lens for many years.
Now, patients have a choice whether they want a clear plastic lens, or one that will also improve other areas of vision.
Dr. Wyche Coleman of the WK Eye Institute said the technology of multi-focal lenses has continued to improve. Now a patient can get a tri-focal lens.
“Now we’ve got one that’s a true trifocal. So, it gives you three focal points. It puts you in focus far off like for driving, watching TV, distance activities, intermediate and a computer, like fingertip range, and then also close for reading,” he said. “So, the pan optics is sort of the latest iteration of that.”
Coleman said many patients who choose to replace their natural lens with a tri-focal lens no longer need glasses of any kind.
“This is by far the best we’ve ever had. It leads to a high level of glasses independence. You know, most people with the pan optics, like greater than 95% of people don’t wear glasses for any task afterwards,” said Coleman. “So, even people who’ve been real farsighted, very near sighted, once they get the pan optics lens they don’t use glasses for anything anymore. So it’s really an amazing piece of technology for us.”
While insurance typically pays for cataract surgery with a clear plastic lens replacement, the addition of tri-focal or other vision correcting lenses is not usually covered.