Chicago Multifocal IOL Specialist Stuart Sondheimer, MD
What Are Intraocular Lenses?
An intraocular lens, also known as an IOL, is an artificial replacement lens. These replacement lenses are implanted after the natural lens of the eye has been surgically removed during cataract surgery. After IOL placement, patients can often see without the need for glasses or contacts and have clear vision.
Types of Multifocal IOL
In the past, monofocal intraocular lenses were the only option patients had. Now, patients can have multifocal IOLs placed at the conclusion of cataract surgery to correct vision at near, intermediate and far distances. As a result, multifocal lenses can completely eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses for most patients. Multifocal intraocular lenses appeal to patients that prefer not to wear glasses or contact lenses. Dr. Sondheimer offers the following multifocal intraocular lenses:
- Alcon PanOptix
- Tecnis Multifocal
When Is an IOL Needed?
An Intraocular lens allows patients a quality range of vision. A cataract occurs because the eye’s natural lens becomes cloudy or opaque. As the lens becomes more cloudy over time, it prevents light from being focused on the retina, and thus, vision diminishes. Cataracts grow at different rates, some more quickly than others, and there is no cure but to have the cloudy lens removed.
Once the eye’s natural lens has been removed, a new, man-made intraocular lens (IOL) is used to replace it. There are many IOLs that will usually serve patients well for distance vision, but patients must still wear glasses for reading or for good vision at near.
What Is PanOptix IOL?
The newest addition to the AcrySof® IQ series of intraocular lenses, the AcrySof® IQ PanOptix® Trifocal IOL is the first FDA-approved trifocal IOL. Approved in late 2019, PanOptix®IOLs deliver a better combination of near, intermediate, and distance vision. These lenses substantially reduce the need for the patient to use eyeglasses after their implantation during cataract surgery.
Dr. Sondheimer is one of the first surgeons in the area to implant these new Alcon PanOptix® Lenses.
How is PanOptix different from other IOLs?
The PanOptix® is the latest advancement from the AcrySof® family of intraocular lenses, PanOptix is a trifocal lens, meaning it has three full ranges of clear vision, up close, intermediate, and distant.
The PanOptix®Lens enhances the quality of vision, as well as range, so your vision should be as sharp and vivid. PanOptix Lenses deliver bright and vivid color vision. PanOptix® also comes in a toric version that corrects for astigmatism at the same time it delivers clear vision at distance, intermediate, and near.
Studies prove the case
In Alcon research for the AcrySof® PanOptix® Lens, A clinical study surveyed 129 people who had the PanOptix® Lens implanted. These are the results:
- 99% of people with the PanOptix® Lens would choose the same lens again.
- 98% of people with the PanOptix® Lens would recommend it to family and friends.
- When asked how often they needed eyeglasses to see in the last seven days, 80.5% of people with the PanOptix® Lens reported that they never used them and 11.4% reported that they rarely used them.
PanOptix® also corrects for near vision in addition to distance and computer vision, overcoming the loss of focusing ability that is essentially universal after the age of 40, which is known as presbyopia.
Who is a good candidate for PanOptix?
Anyone who has cataracts is a good candidate for this incredible new intraocular lens. To reap the full benefit of the full range of clear vision, it's advised to have lenses placed in both eyes after cataract removal.
As with all IOLs other than the monofocal variety, PanOptix® Lenses cost more than monofocal IOLs. This means more cost out of pocket. But Dr. Sondheimer's patients feel that is money very well spent, as their vision is now so clear and vivid. And they don't need readers anymore, for the most part!
The Panoptix does cause more halos and glare than monofocal lenses, but most patients are not bothered by this glare and halos.
How long do PanOptix® Lenses last?
These lenses are meant to last for the remainder of the patient's life. These are permanent lenses. They should not cloud or degrade over time. They should provide the same crystal-clear vision the day they are implanted as they will 10 years from now and beyond.
See What Our Patients Are Saying!
“Dr. Sondheimer is very knowledgeable and approachable. I appreciated that he took the time to answer my questions and concerns. He was never rushed or distracted. My surgery went well and I would recommend Dr. Sondheimer to anyone.”
– Faina R.
“From the moment I met Dr. Sondheimer and his staff at both offices, I felt I was in good hands and cared for. The two Toric Lens Implant surgeries went well and I am seeing better than ever. The gals at the Skokie Office, Kathy, Ana, and Galina were so lovely and helpful. Dr. Sondheimer prepared me each step of the way as to what will occur on the days of surgery. He was very availble if I had any questions or problems. I had a very rewarding experience.”
– Geraldine G.
What is Vivity IOL?
In March 2021, the FDA approved this new premium intraocular lens from Alcon, the AcrySof™ IQ Vivity™ Extended Vision IOL. This is the newest IOL developed by Alcon to extend the AcrySof™ IQ series.
The AcrySof™ IQ Vivity™ IOL is designed to provide clear vision at all distances, in both bright and dim lighting.
The Vivity™ IOL comes in both standard and toric (for astigmatism correcting) IOLs.
How is Vivity IOL different from other IOLs?
The AcrySof™ IQ Vivity™ lens is designed with a new, non-diffractive technology called X-Wave™. This non-diffractive technology uses all available light to create a continuous, extended range of vision. Other diffractive multifocal lenses split the wavefront into many separate focal points.
The Vivity™ IOLs also offer protection from UV rays.
The Vivity™ lens reduces visual disturbances,such as halos, starbursts, and glare, as can occur at night with multifocal IOLs after cataract surgery. Vivity™ does this with its non-diffractive technology, reducing these visual disturbances. This is a plus for nighttime driving.
Vivity’s extended depth of focus stretches light without splitting it. This delivers monofocal IOL-quality distance vision with excellent intermediate (at arm’s length) vision, and functional near vision (up close). Vivity™ also can correct for presbyopia.
How is Vivity IOL implanted?
Vivity™ IOLs are implanted in the same way as all other IOLs during cataract replacement surgery.
The Intraocular Lens Placement
Lens exchange may be performed in conjunction with cataract removal or as stand alone procedure. Treatment is conducted on an outpatient basis. Before commencing with the surgery, we administer a local anesthetic into the eye to numb the eye. These medicated eye drops work quickly to keep you comfortable throughout your procedure, which is usually completed in 15 minutes. In most cases, the tiny incisions made to replace the natural lens do not require stitches.
Who is a good candidate for the Vivity IOL?
The Vivity™ IOL is another exciting addition to the cataract replacement lens armamentarium. Dr. Sondheimer is excited to offer this new IOL for our patients. The Vivity™ IOL is appropriate for many patients having cataract surgery. Good candidates seek to be able to see clearly at all distances without the need for eyeglasses. Vivity™ IOLs may also be used to correct for presbyopia or astigmatism.
As is the case with all premium IOLs, these are not fully covered by Medicare. Medicare and most private insurances pay only for monofocal IOLs, but the patient is responsible for the difference if he or she chooses an IOL such as the Vivity™ IOL which corrects pre-existing presbyopia and astigmatism, in addition to treating the cataract.
Risks of the IOL Procedure
Ongoing clinical use has proven that refractive lens exchange, like cataract surgery, is safe and effective. The risk of severe complications is very low. Most, but not all, complications, that can occur after lens replacement surgery can be easily treated. Some risks of this procedure include:
- Increased intraocular pressure
- Dislocation of the implanted IOL (shifting)
- Bleeding in the eye
- Ptosis (drooping eyelid)
- Decreased vision
Schedule Your Multifocal IOL Consultation In Skokie, IL!
Dr. Sondheimer, who has earned a reputation as a leading Chicago cataract surgeon. He has helped thousands of patients achieve excellent vision correction using a range of highly sophisticated lens implants. Call 847-677-2794 to schedule a consultation with Chicago ophthalmologist, Dr. Stuart Sondheimer.