What is the Crystalens®?
The Crystalens® is the first and only FDA-approved accommodating intraocular lens used to replace the cloudy lens during cataract surgery. This is the only FDA-approved intraocular lens that uses the natural focusing ability of the eye to focus light to a single point onto the retina.
How Does the Crystalens® Work?
The Crystalens® was designed to be placed inside the capsule that surrounds the natural lens of the eye after the cataract is removed. The lens has a hinge like design that allows the lens to move forward inside the when a person tries to focus up close. The ciliary body contracts to shift the lens forward in order for the lens to provide near vision. The Crystalens® was shown to provide approximately one diopter of accommodation.
Models for the Crystalens®
Crystalens Model AT-45 approved in 2003 which is really not used today.
Crystalens Five-O approved in 2006 which is really not used today.
Crystalens HD or high definition lens approved in 2008. This lens was designed to provide better vision quality with less glare and halos at night.
Crystalens AO approved in 2010. This lens was designed to provide better contrast sensitivity and less high order aberrations.
Warnings and Precautions for the Crystalens®
Some patients may still need glasses to see at different distances.
The safety and effectiveness of the lens has not been studied in patients under age 50.
Some small amounts of decentration of the lens may cause glare or halos at night.
The Crystalens® Should be Used with Caution in Patients with the Following Ocular Conditions
Chronic drug miosis (small pupil)
Previous corneal surgery
Prior retinal detachment surgery
Recurrent ocular inflammation
Corneal endothelial dystrophy
As with any ocular surgical procedure the risks involved include but not limited to: lens subluxation, corneal endothelial damage, cystoid macular edema, infection, retinal detachment, vitreous loss, pupillary block, secondary glaucoma, iris prolapse, uveitis, and pupillary membrane. These are similar to cataract surgery with other intraocular lenses.
Endophthalmitis (infection inside the eye) 0.2%
Hyphema (bleeding) 0.2%
Hypopyon (white blood cells) 0.0%
Cystoid macular edema 2.6%
Secondary surgical reintervention 0.8%
Unilateral Uncorrected Visual Acuity
20/40 or worse 8.6%
20/40 or better 91.4%
20/32 or better 83.8%
20/25 or better 72.5%
20/20 or better 49.6%
20/40 or worse 10.9%
20/40 or better 89.1%
20/32 or better 69.6%
20/25 or better 43.8%
20/20 or better 14.1%
The Crystalens® is an excellent alternative in the right patients. The lens provides good distance and intermediate vision. Some people are not able to see fine print at near. Patients who do a lot of driving at night and computer work are good candidates. If you are an avid reader it may not be your best choice. Consult with your eye doctor to see if you are a good candidate for this new advanced technology intraocular lens.