planning for cataract surgery

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I'm needing cataract surgery and in discussing the lens types, the doctor i met with was not encouraging about using Symfony lenses about which I had heard good things.  I have seen some threads where some have these lenses with varying degrees of satisfaction and wanted to ask if you would still recommend them.  thanks.

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  • Posted

    There is another recent thread about "Symfony lenses" where someone had a similar comment, so I'd suggest looking at that rather than posting duplicates here.

    To make some specific comments on your post: Why was the doctor not encouraging? Is there some eye condition you have which leads him to think it isn't a good fit for you? Did he recommend some other premium IOL instead? I'm guessing he was just recommending a monofocal. Unfortunately some surgeons are mostly focused on being doctors concerned with treating a medical condition, the cataract, rather than being concerned about providing the best possible optical result. They figure that if the person can see with glasses/contacts, that is good enough for them. 

    Some therefore are ultra-conservative and risk averse in terms of their treatment suggestions,  figuing they'd rather have the fewest patient compaints possible, even if it doesn't give patients the best possible vision. If someone gets a monofocal and needs to wear correction much of the time,  they aren't likely to complain to the doctor. The Symfony has a low risk of visual artifacts like halos, fairly comparable to a monofocal, in fact better than some monofocals but  just not as low as the best monofocals. There is no IOL yet which doesn't give halos to someone, the monofocal issue just is talked about less since there isn't much that can be done since people need an IOL to see (or would have other problems with the high powered correction they'd need without an IOL).However even with a tiny risk, if the surgeon is doing thousands of surgeries a year that means the'll likely get some small increase in complaints with the Symfony vs. a monofocal. 

    Unfortunately even though studies show the vast majority of patients are happy with the Symfony (or other premium IOLs), most happy patients don't post and so the small minority with problems who post can lead to a distorted view of people's impression of the lens. Thats why its best to focus on the studies, which show good results, and the many surgeons who are open to premium IOLs (vs. dismissing them all out of hand).

    It is important to realize that with any premium lens there isn't a 100% guarantee it'll be ok, there is a very minuscule risk that you'll want a lens exchange to a monofocal, someone winds up being the "statistic". I figured in my case that since the monofocal is guaranteed to have a lower range of vision, it made more sense to bet on the high odds of having great results with the Symfony. The high odds of having more convenient   vision for the rest of my life, and not needing correction usually, were worth the slight risk of a lens exchange.

     

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  • Posted

    Based on my experience with Symfony Lens, if you are not concerned with night vision issues, a Symfony lens may be a good choice as it provides good day-time vision. If you want the best night vision also, you should avoid it. The main issue for my night vision is  the seeing of multiple concentric circles or halos around lights at night time. Many other people seem to have had the same issue. Rather than repeating the details here, I will encourage you to read my post, “Has Any One Else Had This Very Unusual Vision Issue with Symfony Lens?” on this forum. You should be able to find it by clicking on my name and then looking under “Discussion”.
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  • Posted

    I love my symphony lens. My eye specialist recommended them above all others and I am satisfied. I had a little blur in the left eye caused by the capsule lining from the former cataract sac (which is left in), and usually remains clear... turning cloudy, but that could happen with any lens that you have put in. I had that corrected yesterday with a laser treatment. All is good, closeup, middle and distant vision is now better than 20/20.
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    • Posted

      thank you for your input.  have you had any issues with the concentric circles or halos?  I see a starburst pattern with lights which is one of the reasons i am considering surgery.
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    • Posted

      I have noticed the halos and starbursts somewhat. Not as much now as at the beginning. They aren't annoying to me at all, and don't hurt... no problem as far as I am concerned. Having perfect vision now is well worth a little halo... which reminds me of how blessed I am to have had the opportunity to have this eye operation done. So when I see the halo's I smile! I only see the halo's in the evening and think it's quite beautiful. 😉

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    • Posted

      The starburst due to the cataract of course goes away when the lens is replaced. Starburst artifacts can happen even with a monfocal IOL after surgery, sometimes they are due to thinks like a slight crease in the capsular bag behind the IOL which can happen with any IOL model.

      Its mostly the issue of halos where the Symfony is different, and again the vast majority of people either don't see them or don't consider them much of a problem (even if a vocal minority who consider them annoying have trouble grasping others don't).  As I've posted elsewhere, in my case although I'm in the minority who see them, they are so mild/transulcent that I see through/past them and don't really consider them a prolem, and they are starting to go away in some cases now. To make up for that, I have much less disability glare, bright headlights aren't as distracting, they don't make it harder to see the surrounding objects as much as they used to even before cataracts, so overall I feel like my night vision is better than it ever has been. There is no guarantee however, some minuscule number wish a lens exchange, although I hadn't seen figures yet for the comparatively new Symfony I'd guess it'd be likely 1% or something that are bothered enough for a lens exchange, but I can't be sure. If I have time later maybe I'll hunt to see if there are now statistics someplace.

       

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    • Posted

      thank you for your input.  It is a hard decision for me because the doctor hasn't used these(symfony) and was not receptive to my request.  i never even wore glasses(except readers) until i turned 65 and the starburst thing developed so i know i should be, and i am, very thankful for my lucky life with my eyes, but now that i'm advised to have cataract surgery i want to make the best decision going forward.

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