Frequently Asked Questions:
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about the CrystaLens
Can vision be corrected to 20/20, for both reading & distance?
The CrystaLens has been designed to correct vision at all distances.
While virtually everyone will experience a significant improvement in
their uncorrected vision after surgery, some people will not see 20/20
at all distances.
Keep in mind that many people who have not had eye surgery cannot see
20/20 at both near and far, even with corrective glasses or contacts.
This is due to a variety of physiological problems as well as lifestyle
preferences; yet most of these people function quite normally.
The FDA two-year clinical study on the CrystaLens indicates that 92%
of the people enrolled in the study (implanted in both eyes) could see
20/25 or better at distance, 96% could see 20/20 at arm's length
and 73% could see 20/25 at near without glasses or contact lenses.
Even more exciting, 98% of these people could pass their drivers test,
100% could see their computer and dashboard, read the prices in the
supermarket and/or apply makeup, and 98% could read the telephone book
or newspaper, all without glasses or contact lenses.
What about middle-distance vision - like working on a computer?
Your ability to see at approximately arm's length (middle vision)
will be greatly enhanced with the CrystaLens. Over 96% of people enrolled
in the clinical study were able to see 20/20 at arm's length without
In addition, the quality of vision compared to wearing trifocals is
significantly improved. You will have a potentially full range of vision,
without having to tilt your head to find that portion of your glasses
that allows you to see clearly. You simply look at something and the
CrystaLens typically will automatically focus your eye at near, arm's
length, or distance, because the CrystaLens mimics the natural focusing
ability of your eye.
Will I be able to read in all light conditions?
The CrystaLens functions very much like the normal human lens. It is
important to remember that reading vision in low light is also influenced
by the overall health of your eye and by the condition of the light
sensors in the retina. As we get older our ability to see in low light
conditions may start to decrease. It is always best to read in good
Am I a good candidate for CrystaLens implantation?
At Seibel Vision Surgery, you will receive a thorough examination and
a customized treatment plan for addressing your visual needs.
Virtually everyone with good general health is a candidate for implant
surgery, but people with chronic infections, uncontrolled diabetes or
other health problems may have to wait until these conditions are under
control prior to surgery.
People who have had prior corneal refractive surgery are acceptable
candidates for CrystaLens implantation as long as their eyes are in
good health. Prior corneal refractive surgery can make it more difficult
to obtain the optimum lens implant power for your eye; Dr. Seibel and
his staff will be happy to discuss this with you further. If you
have already had cataract surgery, you are not a candidate for the CrystaLens
What will my vision be like after surgery?
Your distance vision will usually be very good within a day or two
after surgery. However, your middle and near vision may be somewhat
blurred at first.
Typically within the first 2 weeks, you will notice that your middle
(arm's length) vision is improving and your near vision is also
starting to get better. It is important that you limit the use of the
reading glasses at this time so that you strengthen the focusing muscle
of your eyes.
It may take several months for your eyes to reach their full focusing
potential. The more you try to read without reading glasses, the quicker
you will be able to reduce your dependence on them. You may notice a
difference in your vision from one eye to the other after your eyes
heal. This is normal. If the difference in your vision is significant
your doctor may recommend additional corneal refractive surgery. This
is often done for the correction of astigmatism after implant surgery.
Everyone's focusing ability is different. Most people will be
able to see clearly in the distance, have excellent middle vision and
will be able to read a newspaper without glasses, but some people may
be more comfortable with additional correction, particularly at night
or in dim light.
It is important to remember that implant surgery cannot resolve pre-existing
visual conditions such as floaters, flashes, or visual field loss that
are a result of conditions of the eye and not related to the lens.
Your doctor will thoroughly discuss the restoration of your vision
after surgery and will recommend a specific plan for optimizing your
uncorrected vision for near and far. It is important to remember that
while virtually everyone experiences much improved vision after cataract
surgery, some people will have better uncorrected vision than others.
It may be necessary for some people to wear glasses for distance and/or
near vision to obtain optimal visual acuity. The difference from standard
lenses is that most people will not be dependent on these supplemental
vision aids to function normally.
Since this information isn't intended to replace the advice of
a health care professional, be sure and talk with the eye doctors at
Seibel Vision Surgery before making any decisions regarding vision correction
The long-term safety and effectiveness of this lens have not been established.
Glare at night and sensitivity to light?
These symptoms can be produced or exacerbated by cataract surgery.
Many people report these problems before cataract surgery and even after
surgery; however, they are rarely debilitating.
Sensitivity to light is often a temporary symptom. The CrystaLens optic
material is so clear that in some people it takes time to get used to
how bright colors are and how intense lights can be, particularly at
As with any intraocular lens, glare can be a problem at night when
the pupil widely dilates and occasionally light can reflect off the
edge of the implant and create a flash or halo of light. This typically
does not occur in your central field of vision, but rather in the periphery.
People who have worn contact lenses in the past may be familiar with
Again, glare is rarely debilitating and if it does bother you, there
are a number of things that your doctor can do to improve your vision
at night including medications or night driving glasses.
What about security eye scanning?
Security scanning should not be affected after CrystaLens implantation.
Security scanning usually relates to iris or retinal pattern recognition.
The implant has no influence on iris scanning and should not interfere
with retinal visualization through a normal sized pupil.
What will the CrystaLens procedure cost?
Will insurance cover any
Each patient's vision is different and unique. Insurance coverage
varies greatly from policy to policy. Generally speaking, if the CrystaLens
is implanted as part of cataract surgery, private insurance may cover
the cataract surgical procedure and anesthesia; and may also allow a
certain additional amount for the artificial lens implant. The insured
is then required to pay a deductible and possible co-payment as well
as any additional amount above the primary coverage. (Some patients
are completely responsible for payment – not all insurance companies
will cover some).
The patient counselors at Seibel Vision Surgery will review your insurance
coverage and your surgical alternatives prior to your surgery. It may
also be beneficial for you to contact your insurance carrier.
How Does the CrystaLens compare to the ReSTOR?
Both lenses are designed to reduce a patient's need for
reading glasses while
retaining good distance vision without glasses.
In general terms, the ReSTOR lens tends to offer better sustained reading
ability at a closer range, around 10” away,
which some patients can find a little closer than they are
used to. By comparison,
the CrystaLens statistically does not give quite as strong
a sustained reading ability for these closer distances, and
patients desiring to read for more prolonged periods may wish
to supplement with a weak pair of reading glasses, such as +1.25 diopters
(as compared to the much stronger +2.50 diopters usually required by
patients with a standard monofocal IOL).
When comparing lens implants for intermediate distance around
24 inches (e.g. computer monitor), the ReSTOR tends to not be quite
as sharp as it is at the closer reading distance of 10 inches. By
comparison, the CrystaLens tends to be sharper at intermediate distances.
With regard to glare, the ReSTOR lens is more likely than a standard
IOL to produce such phenomena as rings or haloes around street lights
or headlights. In the FDA study, 74% of ReSTOR patients rated
glare as mild to none, while 21% thought it was moderate, and 5% thought
it was severe. The high satisfaction rate with the ReSTOR lens
would seem to indicate that patients felt that glare symptoms were more
than compensated for by their reduced dependence on glasses. The ReSTOR
glare rates compared to standard monofocal lens implant patients who
rated glare as 91% mild to none, 7% moderate, and 2% severe. The
CrystaLens data generally showed no more increased risk of glare than
with a standard monofocal lens implant.
Your individual exam may indicate that one lens may be better suited
to you than another, and perhaps neither one may be as appropriate as
a standard monofocal lens implant. Dr. Seibel will of course discuss
this with you after a thorough consultation.
As always, Seibel Vision Surgery is first and foremost concerned about
what is best for each individual patient. Call us today for
your personalized consultation!