We take this opportunity to discuss corrective vision innovations

world sight day

The second Thursday of October each year is World Sight Day, a day observed globally to raise awareness around blindness and vision impairment. Often, our eye health is neglected or overlooked even though many of us wear contacts or glasses on a daily basis. With many hours of screen-time logged each day, it’s no wonder our vision becomes strained! Make sure to make an appointment with your optometrist annually, to ensure that you have the proper prescription and to maintain overall optical health.

Impaired Vision

Cataracts, a condition familiar to many, are the leading cause of blindness in Canada. Dr. Sheldon Herzig, MD, FRCSC, co-founder and medical director of the Herzig Eye Institute, explains: “There are different ways in which cataracts affect visual quality, and the most common way is simply reduced vision: difficulty seeing, seeing distances or both. Other symptoms can include ghosting (seeing double edges around objects) or glare at night.”

What are Cataracts?

“Your cataracts are lenses, which sit directly behind the pupil—when they become cloudy, that’s what’s known as “cataracts.” The time it takes for cataracts to develop varies, and its interesting—in younger people, cataracts can actually develop faster,” explains Herzig.

Vision Restoration Treatment Options

A refractive lens exchange is an effective way to treat cataracts. Like its name suggests, the cloudy lens is exchanged for a new one, and a patient’s vision is improved. This surgery can also be performed on patients wishing to get rid of their prescription contacts or glasses: “Sometimes this is a more appropriate solution for people rather than laser surgery,” explains Dr. Herzig.

The procedure takes only 10 to 15 minutes, and most patients have functional vision the next day.

An Innovative Replacement Lens

A new innovative lens, the TECNIS Symfony intraocular lens has a unique design, expanding the eye’s focus, which allows for patients to retain both reading vision and distance vision. This is a significant difference from laser corrective treatments, as Herzig explains: “With a laser treatment, certainly you can retain some reading vision by leaving one eye near-sighted, which we call normal vision. Now, if someone wants both eyes to be the same, we can take their lens out, and replace it with the Smyfony lens (which functions for both distance and reading), just as you would in a cataract patient. They’re now without glasses completely.”