What is Presbyopia?

Multifocal IOL

Until recently cataract patients received monofocal lens implants possessing only a single power. This meant patients had to choose between correction for either far or near vision, but never both together. Thus, patients would still need glasses for either reading or for distance vision. The FDA has now approved several presbyopia correcting lens implants for use by certified ophthalmologists. These high tech lenses will increase patients' chances for a life of less dependence on glasses or contacts after cataract surgery for all ranges of vision-distance, intermediate and near vision. If you have worn glasses for many years or even decades, this may be your opportunity to lessen that hassle in your life.

Life without reading glasses or bifocals is becoming more common today for presbyopic patients who choose the Multifocal IOL. In the FDA clinical trials, 80% of patients implanted with the Restor lens never wore glasses again for any activities. Ask Dr. Duffey if you are a candidate for the Multifocal lens implant.

The FDA clinical results showed that 84% of patients who received the Multifocal lens in both eyes achieved near visual acuity of 20/25 or better without correction by contacts or glasses; whereas, only 23 percent of the conventional or monofocal control group achieved this level. Other presbyopia correcting lenses available to you include the Crystalens and the AMO Tecnis Multifocal lens.

Tecnis Multifocal Lens

The TECNIS Multifocal Lens provides qualified patients with high-quality youthful vision at any distance, and in any light condition – even in low light.  The advanced TECNIS Multifocal is an implantable lens that restores vision after cataract surgery and corrects presbyopia (the need for reading glasses).  It delivers a wide depth of vision superior to that of a standard multifocal lens and offers an excellent chance to become spectacle independents.


If you are diagnosed with cataracts and are experiencing some of the following symptoms, you may be a candidate for the TECNIS Multifocal Lens.

  • Difficulty reading
  • Difficulty seeing to drive, especially at night
  • Difficulty seeing your computer screen
  • Need bifocals for everything and all the time

Presbyopia correcting IOLs are not covered by any insurance companies or Medicare, but many patients opting for these IOLs during cataract surgery or Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE) feel the cost of achieving a full range of vision with less dependence on glasses or contacts is well worth the expense.

Accommodative IOL

The Accommodative IOL is proven technology to provide patients an option for improving vision after cataracts surgery for correction of presbyopia (the natural aging process that leads to the need for reading glasses or bifocals.)  This is a surgical procedure where the lens is permanently implanted that functions in a similar manner to the natural eye.  With it your eyes can focus on near or far objects in a comfortable, seamless way.  This is an outpatient surgical procedure with a resulting lifetime of improved vision.


  • Patients over the age of 50 in our mid 40’s the lens of the eye starts to become rigid and loses its ability to accommodate or focus.  That’s why many of us need reading glasses or bifocals.  This condition of the eye is called Presbyopia.
  • Cataract patients: Previously when a cataract was removed, a single focus lens was implanted in the eye.  The patient would need glasses (bifocals or tri-focals) to ensure both near and far vision.  The Accommodative IOL can be used instead of the single focus implant and greatly reduce the need for glasses.


This lens replaces the natural lens inside the eye.  The new lens is made with tiny hinges that allow the patients’ eye muscles to change the lens position when focusing on objects at far, intermediate and near distances.


While everyone heals at a different rate, most patients return to their normal work of lifestyle in a few days.  Focusing ability of the lens will not be fully realized for several months after the procedure.  The eye must adapt to focus on objects at various distances in order to see clearly.

Toric IOLs:

Another method to surgically treat astigmatism involves the implantation of a toric IOL at the time of cataract surgery. Both toric IOLs and AK work well, although in some circumstances one astigmatism correction option may trump the other. Talk to Dr. Duffey about your specific needs and options.