If you suffer from cataracts and are trying to find the right intraocular lens to use during cataract surgery, you now have more options. Florida Eye is excited to be offering the Alcon ArcySofIQ Vivity lens during cataract surgeries.
Cataracts are cloudy areas in the natural lens that affect vision. When a cataract develops and worsens then the eye’s lens becomes cloudy and hard and doesn’t allow light to pass through, which makes it much harder for you to see. Many cataracts are due to normal aging but taking steroids, eye trauma, radiation exposure, and diabetes can speed up the development. It is a common eye problem and also the leading cause of preventable blindness. Cataracts can be treated by removing the cloudy lens from the eye and then replacing it during surgery with an intraocular lens, also known as an IOL. Cataract surgeries have a 98% success rate and patients are able to return to normal routines within 24 hours.
What Is the Vivity Lens?
The new Vivity intraocular lens is the latest generation of lenses used to replace cataracts during cataract surgery. This lens is classified as “Extended Range of Vision.” This means patients will be able to see much better various focal points.
Traditionally, with a standard intraocular lens, patients are only able to see clearly far away without the use of glasses. The ability to see distances or close up without reading glasses is known as presbyopia. The traditional lenses address presbyopia with the use of diffractive technology. The best way to describe this technology is to think of alternative rings of different focusing powers. One set of rings is for focusing on images far away and the other is for objects close up. Only these two distances are in focus and the images in between are blurry. At night, the near-focus rings could even create halos or glare around distance light.
How Does the Vivity Lens Work?
This lens works by bending light rays to allow the focus on the retina. This can correct blurry vision that happens when a cataract is removed and it’s not replaced with an artificial lens. The lens is a great alternative for those that may not be candidates for other mutlifocal or trifocal lens options.
How Is the Vivity Lens Different?
The Vivity lens is a lens that uses proprietary technology called X-Wave. With X-Wave technology, users are now able to see all available light and this results in uninterrupted ranges of vision. This includes when you are in both dim and bright lighting. Using this lens, you are able to achieve excellent in-between and distance vision and can also see up close. If you choose other intraocular lenses, the light is split into many separate focal points. This means that people often see visual aberrations, such as halos, starbursts, or glare, even after the surgery. When patients choose the Vivity lens, there aren’t as many visual disturbances. X-Wave technology also helps protect the eyes from the sun’s UV rays, as well as blue light from your digital devices. The Vivity lens comes in a toric lens model for those with astigmatism to make sure that your astigmatism can be corrected at the same time during the cataract surgery. Another advantage is that it is more forgiving compared to a multifocal lens. If you have mild macular degeneration or dry eyes then a multifocal lens could lead to worse vision. With the Vivity lens, you don’t have these issues.
Are You a Good Candidate for the Vivity Lens?
In order to know if you are the right fit for the Vivity lens, it’s best to schedule a meeting with your ophthalmologist. The lens has been used in patients 22 years of age or older. However, this lens may not be the right fit for you if you have an autoimmune disease that could make it harder to recover from cataract surgery or have had previous eye infections. It’s best to speak with your eye doctor if you have concerns. The lens is best for those who are hoping to improve their near and intermediate-range of vision. This includes activities like putting on makeup, working on a computer, and close-up activities, such as sewing or reading a book.
If you have other eye conditions then you may not be the right fit for the Vivity lens. Some multifocal lenses don’t work well unless your eyes are in excellent shape. This means you can’t suffer from any issues, even something as simple as dry eye syndrome. However, ophthalmologists report that the Vivity lens has been successful in patients with some macular disorders and in patients with glaucoma.
Do You Still Need Glasses with the Vivity Lens?
Even though the Vivity lens gives you better visual acuity, you might still want to consider glasses. Your vision will be more defined and sharper in any lighting, especially dim lighting, but there could still be some instances where you want reading glasses. You may need glasses if you spend a lot of your time completing close-up tasks or in front of a computer. You might need them for things like reading a prescription label or the newspaper. For many activities, such as reading a menu or texting on your phone, you will likely not need your glasses. Unfortunately, there isn’t a guarantee that you won’t need glasses again but you will be able to depend on them a lot less when you choose this lens.
Are You Able to Drive at Night with the Vivity Lens?
Driving at night may have been harder with cataracts, but when you get the Vivity lens, this isn’t going to be an issue. There are fewer visual disturbances with this lens so driving at night is going to be much safer.
Is the Vivity Lens Safe?
The Vivity lens received FDA approval in spring 2020. The FDA approval came after two successful clinical trials. Ophthalmologists in Western Europe and Australia have been using the Vivity lens for a longer period and have reported great clinical results and patient satisfaction. Alcon, the company behind the Vivity lens, has a reputation for safety and quality and is a global manufacturer of other intraocular lens and vision correcting products.
There are always potential side effects with any surgery, whether or not the Vivity lens is implanted. The complications of IOL implantation during surgery range from minor side effects to serious complications. Those with eye disorders or previous illness may have higher risk of complications. Surgical complications include reactions to medication, such as a mild allergic response, redness, itching of the eye, swelling, sensitivity to light, problems with the iris, or a temporary increase in eye pressure. There is a small risk of needing more surgical treatment, such as a replacement of the IOL after implantation of the initial one.
How Does the Vivity Lens Affect an Astigmatism?
One of the benefits of the Vivity lens is that it is available in a toric model so you can get your astigmatism corrected at the same time you are having cataract surgery.
Does Insurance Cover the Vivity Lens?
Many insurance providers and Medicare don’t cover monovision lens during cataract surgery. This means you will have to choose a different lens and choose correction for either close-up or distance vision. You will be dependent on glasses for your other vision needs. While insurance can cover cataract surgery, if you choose a premium lens, such as the Vivity lens, then you are likely going to pay out of pocket.
Getting the Vivity Lens at Florida Eye
If you suffer from cataracts and want to improve your vision after cataract surgery then the Vivity lens may be right for you. Florida Eye Specialist and Cataract Institute is dedicated to being a premier eye care and surgery center with advanced technologies. Contact us today.