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Understanding How Vision Changes

Many things are changing as time passes.  Vision is one of them.  The aging process affects clarity and quality of vision, which may affect your ability to drive at night.  Two primary causes of vision loss with age are cataracts and presbyopia.


Cataracts affect most people over the age of 65 and some younger people as well.  This condition occurs as the natural lens inside the eye becomes cloudy.  This clouding scatters the light passing through the eye, resulting in hazy and blurred vision.

Presbyopia – the loss of near reading vision is a condition that affects everyone over the age of 45.  Presbyopia occurs when the natural lens of the eye becomes firmer and less flexible.  This reduces the eye’s ability to switch from seeing objects at a distance (for driving) to seeing objects that are near (for reading.)

Advances in Cataract Surgery

With approximately three  million procedures performed each year in the U.S., cataract surgery is the most common surgical procedure.

Cataract surgery has a proven track record for restoring lost vision.  The standard treatment for cataracts is to remove the clouded natural crystalline lens (cataract) and replace it with an intraocular lens implant to restore vision.  When performed using a conventional lens implant, this treatment still leaves many people dependent on glasses in their daily lives.  Now new lens technologies allow us to do more.  Presbyopia can be treated at the same time as cataracts with new lens technology.

The Opportunity To Reduce Your Dependency On Glasses In Everyday Life

Today you have lens implant options that can provide the vision to do everyday tasks without being dependent on glasses.  With new technology lens implants, many people can read, work on a computer and drive without depending on glasses after cataract treatment.  There are a number of new lens implants that can allow you to do these tasks.  These new lenses are called Presbyopic Lens Implants.

Are You A Candidate For a Presbyopic Lens Implant?

The doctors here at The Rhode Island Eye Institute will help you understand whether a Presbyopic Lens Implant is an option that is right for your lifestyle and eye health.  You may be a candidate if you:

  • Require treatment for cataracts
  • Want to be independent of glasses in most situations, including reading, using a computer, cooking or driving.


For those people who do not mind wearing glasses or those who have certain eye health issues, a conventional lens implant, (“monofocal” lens) may be the best option.  Implants such as these have been used to treat millions of people, and provide good vision after cataract surgery.  Your doctor will explain these options if they are right for you.

The Major Brands Of Presbyopic Lens Implants Are:

    • The ReStor Lens:  This is a multifocal lens.  The term “multifocal” means that the lens literally improves focal points so people can see well at a variety of distances.  It provides very good near and distance vision.
    • The Crystalens:  This lens uses the eye’s natural muscle to change focus for different distances.  It may provide the best distance of the Presbyopic Lens Implants and is good at intermediate distances.


Insurance Coverage for Cataract with Lens Implantation

Cataract Surgery with conventional lens implantation

Most insurance companies cover the cost of cataract surgery with conventional lens implantation.

Presbyopic lens implantation

The cost of upgrading to a Presbyopic lens implant is not covered by Medicare or private insurance companies, but recent changes in the Medicare laws allow you to pay out-of-pocket for the additional costs associated with these lenses.

Our staff will explain your financial responsibilities in detail and answer all your questions.  Low monthly payment plans are available to fit your budget.

Cataract surgery is performed by Robert L. Bahr, M.D., Thomas Lang, M.D.Elliot Perlman, M.D., Christopher J. Newton, M.D. and Sarah Anis, M.D..  Call 401-272-2020 in our Providence office or call 508-679-0150 in our Fall River office for more information or to schedule an appointment.