How long to wait for reading vision with Sympony lens?

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Five days ago I had the Sympony toric implanted in one eye and for distance was able to read 20/20 after two days, and can now read a computer no problem. 

However, I need to hold a book at arms length to read it and newspaper or smartphone is a real struggle and not really feasable.

Can I expect that this near vision will improve with time? How long will it take?

I'm scheduled to get the other eye done in a week.

Thanks for thoughts.

1 like, 10 replies


10 Replies

  • Posted

    In my personal view two weeks is not enough time to allow the first eye to stabilise and in order to compensate and adjust measurements for the second eye resulting from any deviation in the results of the first. Your first eye may need another three weeks to settle down before you commit to a second lens of a particular strength and orientation.


  • Posted

    I agree with Siempre that you should wait longer before having 2nd surgery done.  I have 2 Symfony lenses - implanted 6 & 8 months ago - had a 6 week wait  between surgeries.

    After first surgery reading distance was further out about 18 inches.  After 2nd surgery I can now read well - about 11 inches away.  Haven’t needed glasses since.   But standard result is about 16 inches away.  You may still need readers for up close even after 2nd surgery.  

    But key is to hold off until first eye surgery completely heals.  Minimum 3 weeks.  Then surgeon may adjust target for 2nd eye to .50 diopter nearer so that you get closer reading vision.

    • Posted

      Thanks for the reply... that's helpful... but when you say that a standard result is being able to read 16 inches away, what size text are you talking about? I mean, a book is larger font than a newspaper which is larger than a smartphone... which one?

    • Posted

      You should be able to read a novel newspaper or your smartphone at 16 inches away.  My surgeon wouldn’t test near vision for Neil both eyes were operated on.   14 hours after my 2nd surgery I was able to read J2 from Snellen chart at 14 inches away.  10 weeks after my 2nd surgery I did make an appointment at my optometrist and could read J1 off Snellen chart 14 inches away (they don’t test for nearer than that).  I have my iPhone 11 inches away as I type this ) at default font size.   Note though that good lighting required.  I would struggle to read in low light conditions.  Optometrist gave me a prescription.  My eyes for distance are both plano (0D) and I have a slight astigmatism.  Right eye .25 and .50 in left.  I don’t need glasses for that however optometrist did provide me with +1.75 for reading which she said I might need for extended periods. 

      I have the regular Symfony lenses (not toric ones).

      Everyone’s eyes heal though at a different pace.  I was fortunate to see pretty clearly after both surgeries - within 24 hours.   It is no indication of where your eyes end up.  For some people swelling and drops slow that process down but within 4 to 6 weeks if there are no complications you should be seeing well.  Reading for whatever reason seems to need both eyes working together for Symfony.  

      Do you have a cataract in the other eye as well?  If not needed you’ll likely be able to see well enough to read once first eye heals.  I just happened to have cataracts both eyes.

      Let the first eye heal well as you may want to adjust 2nd eye or if the night vision issues are too much with Symfony you may want a monofocal lens to counter balance those effects.  

    • Posted

      These are interesting comments... it sounds like if you have a decent outcome within the first week of surgery, then it's a good sign and it simply just takes time to refine things?


      Today my doctor echoed that idea and said I should go ahead and do the surgery next week rather than wait. Here's his thinking...

      It's now been 9 days and at the doctors I read J1/J2 on the near vision chart at 14 inches... definitely not crisp, but barely what I could decipher, you know? In the real world I can get pretty crisp text on the iPhone but only at full arm's length of about 20 inches. That's not too far from my real-world goal, which would be to be able to use it a bit closer.

      He says my with my results so far I should get there and my vision could take 3 to 6 weeks to heal and I may be seeing improvement even up to 6 months down the line.

      So he wouldn't delay the next eye... his thinking is that this is good progress in this timeframe, I'm on track, and doing the 2nd eye sooner rather than later will help because both will then be working together off of equal footing using the same Symfony platform.

      If after 6 months there needed to be a small adjustment for reading he can use the laser to make a small touch up if required, but he says that with this lens it's usually not required, nor are any sort of micro-monovision adjustments to the 2nd lens. 

      He feels we should go forward and then simply allow them the time they need to heal up.

      So... it seems like I should go ahead rather than wait.

    • Posted

      Hi lance01698

      It is totally your decision.   I had a 6 week wait between the surgeries.  (Most provinces in Canada require minimum 4 week wait as the surgeries are covered by Medicare.  The wait will not impact negatively on your outcome.   Often there are changes to your vision during the 3 or 4 weeks as the iol moves slightly slightly until it adheres/heals.  Depending on that end result the surgeon can target the 2nd eye to adjust.  Or as you say it can be done with a laser tweaking later.

      Some people do not like the night visual artifacts with Symfony do opt to change to another type of lens to counterbalance those effects.

      For me the glare and starbursts settles after 6 weeks and I was ok to go ahead with another Symfony and was pleased with the near vision I got.  I do see the concentric circles though - they don’t go away as they are part of lens design 

    • Posted

      Ah, yes, I have starbursts and glow around lights and certain colors also give a spider web effect around the lights (like red traffic lights and car brake lights).

      However, in my mind I'm not so bothered by this since I live most of my life in daylight and with my uncorrected eyes I've always had a different kind of starburst that although being a single line, was a much bigger... so, it's just different. 

      I think it's easy to focus and get hung up on the things that are not perfect or that are different than before, while forgetting about the big wins and positives... for example, my reading vision is now different - I used to have to hold a book 6 inches from my face to be able to read it, now I need to hold it at arm's length (with anticipation that it will improve)... not better, not worse, just different and I need to get used to the different.

      And not forget the huge win that I'm out in the world living my life without glasses on my face or fiddling with contact lenses! Amazing!

    • Posted

      Your views are similar to mine.  I don’t like to push Symfony lenses as I know some other aren’t as happy with them due to night time artifacts.

      I am very happy with daytime vision - first time since a child I am glasses free. It’s not just appearance but due to small face I have had issues finding g frames that fit.  As an adult the selection of frames is small.  And just before being diagnosed with cataracts at 53 started needed bifocals do that sweet spot on small glasses wasn’t very big.

      Since surgeries some of the night issues I had have significantly improved - just the spiderweb like concentric circles now on car brake lights - when brakes applied and traffic lights.  I can live with that.

      So if you are the same you’ll find the near vision is a lot better with 2 Symfony lenses.  As I type this my iPhone is 11 inches away.   

      Good luck to you - wishing you all the best. 

    • Posted

      Sue. An,

      I'm curious, do you ever notice the Symfony concentric circle artifact watching TV or movies? Like a single point light source in an otherwise dark scene or credits on a black screen? Or is it only confined to actual lights in the dark?

    • Posted

      Hi Derek - no never seen any concentric circles watching TV or in a movie theatre.  I have seen slight highlighting on white letters on black background.  I am not sure that is even due to IOLs.  I have read a lot of people can notice that.  Reason why optometrist do eye tests always with black letters in white background.

      Only time I have ever seen faint concentric circles inside was at a concert at Bell Center in Montreal.  There were these LED pinkish lights where I noticed them.  Now I was quite high up in the seating and I wondered if it had to due with distance.   Even driving outside the concentric circles disappear when I get closer to light source (guessing about 50 yards or closer).


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