The Crystalens – Accommodating IOL

Welcome to the world of high tech IOLs. You might say what’s up genius? Aren’t IOLs considered one of the miracles of modern times? Of course they are, but today we will talk about what is perhaps the crème de la crème of them – The Crystalens IOL.

The Crystalens is one of the presbyopia-correcting IOLs or the accommodating IOLs. These resemble the most advanced treatment option available to cataract patients. Amongst the testimonials for the Crystalens are such as below:

“I didn’t realize what I had been missing before I had my Crystalens surgery. The colors of everything are so much brighter and the improved sharpness and clarity of my vision are very noticeable,”

This testimonial clarifies the deep impact that Crystalens accomplishes on the patient’s quality of life.

What is accommodation?

The normal crystalline lens has the ability to change its shape and diameter to allow us to see perfectly far objects as well as near objects and anything in between.

Unfortunately, this amazing property is lost gradually as we grow older. This condition is called presbyopia. This condition resembles the normal physiological aging of the crystalline lens. It starts gradually after the age of forty. At this age people start to lose some of their up-close vision and start wearing reading glasses to compensate for that.

What are the presbyopia-correcting IOLs or the accommodating IOLs?

These are the newest and most expensive generation of IOLs. They have several designs and technologies, but all aim at mimicking the accommodation phenomenon of the natural lens of the eye.

This allows the patient to see clearly far, intermediate and near objects. These IOLs minimize the need for post-operative special reading glasses.

What is the Crystalens?

The Crystalens was designed by Eyeonics Incorporation and was the first FDA approved (in November 2003) accommodating IOL in the world.

In 2008, the Crystalens was acquired by Bausch & Lomb, after which they started developing new generations of the Crystalens, such as the Crystalens HD, in June 2008.

In 2010, Bausch & Lomb introduced a newer generation called the Crystalens Aspheric Optic (AO), which improves contrast sensitivity and reduces higher order aberrations, thanks to its elongated shape. The website for the Crystalens is HERE.

How does the Crystalens lens work?

The design of the Crystalens was inspired by the anatomical and physiological structure of the human eye.

Unlike the ordinary IOLs, the Crystalens consists of the main body of the IOL (the optic) and two modified haptics having the shape of a flange or a wing. The flanges are connected to the main body of the IOL through a specially designed hinges. The hinges are made from a peculiar type of silicone named BioSil. This type of silicone can withstand unlimited number of flexing actions around the hinge without malfunctioning.

The Crystalens uses the contractions of the eye muscles responsible for accommodation to flex the IOL. This gives the central part of the IOL (the optic) the ability to move back and forth as you constantly change focus on images around you.

This dynamic adjustment to the patient’s visual needs enables him to see clearly far, intermediate and near objects, thus minimizing the need for reading glasses after the operation.

How much would it cost me to have a Crystalens implanted in my eye after cataract surgery?

Being expensive, this is unfortunately one of the major obstacles to having a Crystalens cataract surgery. You will likely need to pay an extra $3300 on average, assuming that you have Medicare coverage for the basic costs of the surgery to implant the Crystalens IOL.

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