What eye conditions can be improved with Crystalens®?
Presbyopia and cataracts, and sometimes near- or farsightedness. As we age, the natural lens becomes more stiff, so that after age 40, it can’t any more plump out its curvature to let us see up close. That is, it can’t bend light rays enough to make them focus clearly in the retina, the “camera film” at the back of the eye.
As we age further, to about 60 or more, the stiffness in the lens has continued, and the lens may also develop cataracts. In other words, the clearness of the lens, which in a normal eye lets light pass through unobstructed, becomes marred with cloudy areas which partially block the light. The protein molecules within the lens have started to clump together, forming these opacities that impair vision. There is no way to treat this except to remove the natural lens and replace it with an artificial implantable lens such as Crystalens.
In a procedure called Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), or Clear Lens Exchange (CLE), a nearsighted or farsighted person can have the natural lens replaced by an accommodating lens like Crystalens. This procedure would have a similar result to that of LASIK surgery, and could even be done in conjunction with LASIK. But to decide which would be better for you, consult Dr. Khanna. He would do a detailed exam and testing of your eyes and then make recommendations.
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How does Crystalens work?
It has attachments on its upper and lower edges connected to the eye’s ciliary muscles, which normally control the natural lens. As you move your eye to focus on something in the distance, the lens would normally flatten. A Crystalens will mimic the effect of flattening, by moving forward slightly. As you focus on something close-up, a normal lens would widen, to enable you to focus those light rays at a sharper angle. A Crystalens will mimic the effect of widening by moving back slightly. For intermediate distances, the Crystalens will move to a middle position.
Would I be able to throw my glasses away if I have Crystalens?
It may certainly reduce the need for glasses but you might still need them at times. The FDA did establish that the vast majority of people who had Crystalens implanted in their eyes achieved measurable improvement in the accommodation ability of their eyes. You can expect vision improvement from Crystalens, but perhaps not vision perfection.
Can I go to any eye doctor to get Crystalens?
No. You need to find a ophthalmologist, such as Dr. Khanna, who has done special training in how to implant the Crystalens. Choose one too, who has plenty experience in doing it. Some LASIK eye doctors also treat cataracts using Crystalens, and some do not. Ask a lot of questions when interviewing potential eye surgeons, and if you don’t receive understandable answers, move on.
What does Crystalens cost?
If you use Crystalens to treat cataracts, then the cost of cataract surgery may be covered by Medicare, Medicaid and most insurance plans. You may be asked to pay a portion of the total cost. If you use Crystalens to treat presbyopia, however, it will most likely NOT be covered because there are alternative treatments to presbyopia such as glasses or contact lenses. Specific questions can be answered by your health insurance company.
At Dr. Khanna’s office we can discuss financial issues with you and help you find a way to have Crystalens that fits into your budget.
You can read more about cataracts on our Cataract page, and learn more about our Khanna Institute of LASIK in California, on our About us page. Please call or email us today to schedule your complimentary vision consultation.