Just as cataract surgery has progressed immensely over the last 50 years, so has the development of the artificial lenses we implant after cataract surgery. This surgical technique and lens placement require a precision surgeon, and southwest Floridians are fortunate to have the best cataract surgeons near Estero, Florida at Elmquist Eye Group.
Artificial lenses are called intraocular lenses (IOL). The first IOL implant was done in England in 1949. Prior to this technology, cataract patients had their damaged lenses removed but not replaced with anything. In the absence of the lens, patients had to wear thick, heavy glasses after surgery so that light would be properly refracted to create somewhat normal vision.
Quite often, a patient’s vision remained poor. Interestingly, the IOL inventor, Sir Harold Ridley, noticed that World War II pilots seemed to tolerate shattered airplane windshield plastic in their eyes. This keen observation led to the development of the first IOL.
Since Ridley’s initial invention, there have been remarkable innovations in IOL technology. American ophthalmologist Dr. Steven Shearing modernized IOL technologies by introducing a lens that could be positioned just like a natural lens.
Side by side, advances in both lens technology and cataract surgical techniques allowed more and more patients to have a safe and effective surgery. Soon, toric lenses to correct astigmatism and multifocal lenses to correct presbyopia were invented. Multifocal lenses act just as a bifocal lens does by offering multiple surfaces on which to focus both distance and near objects.
Modern IOL designs have great lens power so that we can correct higher refractive error. The result is that most patients can now have cataract surgery and be glasses-free afterwards. Most patients these days have come to expect that they won’t have to wear glasses rather than it just being a possibility to not have to wear glasses.
A safe and effective surgery
Cataract surgery is one of the most successful surgeries in the history of medicine. The surgery is quick, safe and very effective, and with continued advancements in surgical techniques and lens technology, cataract surgery continues to evolve as not only a way to eliminate cataracts, but as a powerful vision correction procedure.
Not all patients are candidates for all IOL lenses, but when you visit our Elmquist office in either Fort Myers or Cape Coral, our professional team will do a full cataract evaluation to determine your candidacy for both the surgery and the lens type. Modern cataract surgery has improved many lives worldwide, and we want to improve yours, too.
Our Elmquist Eye Group surgeons implant lenses to correct a wide variety of vision problems including nearsightedness, farsightedness and even astigmatism. Furthermore, we can correct much higher refractive error. If you’re in Estero, Florida and are looking for the best eye surgeons near you, contact Elmquist today. Our offices are nearby and we are ready to correct your vision.