April 4, 2024

Brief history of Intraocular Lenses to visual freedom

A brief history of Intraocular Lenses (IOL) to visual freedom afforded today
It was during World War Two when the observation was made by UK ophthalmologist Harold Ridley and his team that acrylic plastic splinters from the cockpit of planes were tolerated by the eye, whilst glass splinters in the eye resulted in inflammation. From this observation Ridley developed the concept of manufacturing acrylic material to manufacture artificial lenses to replace the natural lens of the eye following a cataract procedure. We have the pioneering spirit of Sir Harold Ridley (knighted in Feb 2000, aged 93yrs) to thank for the legacy he has left us and the visual freedom this pioneering discovery has imprinted on our world.

It took several decades as the technology evolved for intraocular lenses(IOL) to be widely accepted as part of modern cataract surgery in New Zealand. The vast majority of cataract surgery to this day involves implanting a monofocal IOL with the aim to make the patient in focus for a distant object. This will result in good distance vision without spectacles but there will be a need to use spectacles for all tasks within arm’s length distance, to see a computer screen, eating dinner, reading etc. While most people undergoing cataract surgery are happy to wear spectacles for near tasks, at Fendalton Eye Clinic Dr Kent specialises in offering the very latest designs of IOL’s. Offering complex designs that facilitate optimal visual result not just for distance but intermediate through to near, options that can reduce or eliminate the need to wear glasses for distance, intermediate and/or near visual tasks.
Reducing spectacle dependence is a goal for many of our patients undergoing Refractive Lens Exchange (Clear Lens Extraction) or cataract surgery. At Fendalton Eye Clinic we have been offering this service since the late 1990s.

There is no intraocular lens that can perform like a 20-year-old natural human lens and with every option there are some compromises or side effects.

Every persons eyes are unique going into the procedure and everyone has different visual demands, it is important that we get an understanding of what you want to achieve and which compromises you are prepared to accept. We are happy to further discuss with you what we can help you achieve to improve your quality of life.

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