ReSTOR® is a multifocal intraocular lens designed to give patients greater visual freedom following cataract surgery.
When your eye’s natural crystalline lens becomes clouded as a result of cataracts, the only solution is to remove the clouded lens and replace it with a new clear one. Most of the lenses used in the past were monofocal lenses, which allowed patients to have good vision only for near or distance vision, but not both.
ReSTOR® is among several recently-approved options for giving patients the ability to see at more distances after cataract surgery, allowing many to have complete freedom from glasses and contacts. ReSTOR® is among the class of multifocal lenses that includes ReZoom™ and Tecnis® lenses as well. Accommodating lenses like Crystalens® (already approved by the FDA) and Synchrony (approval pending) offer a different solution that may be better for some people.
How ReStor IOL Works?
Focusing on objects at different distances requires the ability to focus light from those objects on the retina. The eye’s natural lens accomplishes this by being able to change shape and therefore change the focal point of light entering the eye after reflecting off the object. ReSTOR® and other multifocal lenses accomplish this by having multiple focus zones that simultaneously focus light from different distances onto the retina. The brain then selects the clear image of the object and we see it.
Risks of ReStor IOL
Many of the risks associated with ReSTOR® are not associated with the lens itself, but with cataract surgery. These include infections, hemorrhage, macular edema, and retinal detachment.
The main risk associated with ReSTOR® and with all multifocal lenses is that your brain will simply not adapt to the new way of seeing. Although most patients adapt quickly (within 3 weeks or so), many take longer (6-12 months), and a small number of patients will never adapt to the multifocal lenses.
One risk that is less common with ReSTOR® than with other multifocal intraocular lenses is the presence of nighttime glares and halos. Significantly fewer patients report this disturbing side effect following implantation of ReSTOR® compared to other multifocal lenses. However, this is still a potentially serious complication and should be discussed with your ophthalmologist prior to making a decision about what lens to use following your cataract surgery.