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As the name suggests, accommodating IOLs provide vision correction across all distances, mimicking the accommodative ability of youthful eyes to change focus for different distances as needed.
In other words, it provides the bookend vision correction that you get with multifocal IOLs and accommodates vision correction for all distances in between. The lens actually changes its shape by responding to the natural cues from the same ciliary muscles in the eye that foster natural, youthful accommodation.
With these new IOLs, as the ciliary muscle contracts, the accommodative lens contracts with it, curving and thickening to allow for focusing up close. Essentially, an accommodative IOL is the closest thing to the natural lens of the eye.
The only accommodating IOL currently approved by the FDA is Bausch Lomb’s Crystalens.
Given the current estimate of Americans with cataracts is only 25 million, the AAO is clearly expecting a surge over the next 30 years.But if successful, these new technology lenses also going to be big news in the treatment of presbyopia, even for patients without cataracts.Many industry experts believe that accommodating IOLs provide the best potential treatment option for presbyopia given the fact that the lens is the vision-degrading culprit.However it does not correct for medium vision between the two and can sometimes leave the quality of vision, as measured by contrast sensitivity, lower than experienced with glasses across all distances.
Which brings us to accommodating IOLs, the Rolls Royce of implantable lenses.
And considering that everyone over the age of 50 eventually develops presbyopia, it’s no wonder why so many companies are investing in the development of accommodating IOLs.