by Consultant Ophthalmic, Corneal and Refractive Surgeon Damian Lake
Vision is a precious sense to everyone, but the gift of sight is often taken for granted until some deterioration is noticed.
It is not uncommon for people to begin to find that despite never having had to wear spectacles or use contact lenses during their 20’s and 30’s,suddenly in their 40’s or beyond it may become more challenging to read up close or in the distance.
In previous generations this would inevitably have required reading glasses which despite the obvious unpopular signal that we are getting older also creates the endless dilemma of “where have I put my glasses”! But thanks to advanced technology alternative solutions are now available to correct this visual deficit.
Lenses with the ability to focus for reading up close (when reading a newspaper), and in the intermediate areas (for instance when using a laptop computer) and in the distance can now be placed inside the eye using precision surgery.
The treatments are performed one eye at a time with local anaesthetic and often take no more than twenty minutes. The vision will improve in a matter of days, but require a strict regime of eye drops to be applied for up to one month to allow healing to occur. The second eye treatment is often performed one week later but can be as quickly as a few days later, leading to earlier rehabilitation and return to normal life.
Multifocal lens technology works by providing a continuous enhanced focal range to provide a broader area of clear vision and reduce the need for spectacles. Often people will enquire whether they are suitable for these lenses, and of course this requires a detailed discussion of lifestyle and visual requirements (the optical needs of a Golfer are a lot different to those of a voracious reader), a comprehensive examination of both eyes to confirm that they are healthy and suitable for lens implantation and scanning of both the surface and internal structures of the eye with personalized detailed measurements to calculate the multifocal lens power required .
This treatment often is also suitable for those with cataracts, astigmatism (a curved surface to the eye) and both short or long sighted problems but there can be people who may not suit multifocal lenses either due to a certain particular visual requirement or because the eye is not suitable for some reason, but even then alternative options maybe useful such as monovision (a lens for near in one eye,and one for distance in the other) or accommodative lenses (a lens that moves with the action of a muscle inside the eye).
Improvements in surgical technology and lens design have provided an exciting treatment for people with declining vision but a desire to find an improvement and continue to pursue sports and hobbies without the burden of spectacles. So there is no need to compromise on this most precious gift.
Mr Damian Lake is a Consultant Ophthalmologist, Corneal and Refractive Surgeon. He is accredited in all aspects of eye care but specialises in Corneal transplantation, Cataract and Laser Refractive surgery, Stem cell surgery and reconstruction of damaged eyes.