Presbyopia (more commonly known as old eyes) is the result of the natural ageing of the crystalline lens and usually develops between the ages of 40 and 45. That is why nowadays an increasing number of people are looking to know how they can correct their presbyopia and what the surgery for presbyopia or old eyes involves. This condition is due to the fact that the crystalline lens loses its ability to focus or accommodate,resulting in having difficulty seeing correctly at short distances, therefore having to resort to close-up glasses, which in many cases condition our quality of life. Fortunately, it is possible to correct presbyopia with laser surgery or intraocular lenses. In this article, we would like to explain what presbyopia surgery involves, what techniques are available, what the postoperative period is like and other frequent doubts that our patients often have.
Before my surgery: the pre-operative evaluation
There are many reasons why a person may want to have presbyopia or old eyes surgery, for example, to not have to wear glasses all the time. Whatever the reason, presbyopia surgery drastically improves the patient’s quality of life. However, before the surgery, at Clínica Rahhal, we always conduct a preoperative evaluation to assess the patient’s vision. This study comprises some tests that will help us to ascertain whether or not the patient is a candidate for surgery, and also to determine which technique is the most suitable for their specific case. BASIC EYE EXAMINATION This examination is carried out as a general procedure, consisting of basic tests that help us to assess the general condition of the eye and the feasibility of surgery. They will determine whether or not you are a suitable candidate for the surgery. Some of these tests are:
- Visual acuity test:
- Eye test.
- Analysis of the structures of the anterior and posterior pole of the eye.
- Visual field test.
COMPLEMENTARY TESTS Once it has been verified that the patient is a candidate for surgery, some complementary tests are conducted, which will help us to decide which technique or procedure is the most appropriate. If you would like in-depth information about all the tests performed and why we perform them, here is the link where you can read about thepreoperative evaluationin detail.
“Presbyopia is usually corrected by replacing the crystalline lens with a trifocal lens”.
Dr. Alonso. Ophthalmologist.
Techniques to correct old eyes, which one is best for me?
One of the things that our patients ask us most about when they make an appointment with us are the possible techniques that can be used to correct presbyopia. There are 2 main techniques:
Intraocular lenses (pseudophakic lenses)
It is a procedure in which the crystalline lens that has lost its focusing ability is replaced by a multifocal artificial lens. It is currently the most commonly performed procedure. Trifocal lenses are the most commonly used in this respect as they allow us to correct all distances, far, intermediate and near. This surgery is performed by phacoemulsification, which is a sutureless microincisional procedure for cataract and presbyopia surgery performed on an outpatient basis. This procedure has some benefits such as:
- No sutures are required, reducing the risk of incisional complications.
- It accelerates healing and advances rehabilitation.
- Produces less surgically induced astigmatism.
Laser surgery to correct presbyopia
The SUPRACOR® laser is the treatment for old eyes (presbyopia) performed by shining an Excimer laser on both eyes to modify the thickness of the cornea and therefore change its grading. With this technique, it is possible to treat distance and near vision in both eyes. Some of the advantages of this surgery are:
- No modification of intraocular structures
- It significantly improves quality of life.
- Significant savings, buying glasses over the years costs a lot of money. Have you ever thought about how much you have spent on glasses and how much you could spend over the next 10 years?
As with intraocular lens implantation, this procedure is performed on an outpatient basis, and recovery time is very quick in most cases. In order to give the patient the best quality of life and to enable them to function with intermediate or near vision, we perform what we callMONOVISION, which means vision in your dominant eye is corrected for distance vision, while your other eye is intentionally left somewhat nearsighted to allow you to see close objects.
What does presbyopia surgery involve?
The surgery itself, and all the steps involved, will depend on the technique used in the surgery. However, there are some guidelines and frequent doubts that our patients often have regarding presbyopia surgery that we would like to clarify in this article.
Before the surgery
The doctor will give you all the detailed guidelines of the considerations to be taken into account before the surgery, but the most frequent advice is:
- Do not wear contact lenses for 15 days prior to surgery.
- Do not wear eye make-up
- Wash your hair before the surgery to avoid having to wash it after surgery.
- Apply prophylaxis using an eye drop that the doctor will recommend.
“I had my eye surgery at this eye clinic and I couldn’t be happier. My sincere thanks to the whole team for the level of care and trust they instilled in me at all times”.
During the surgery
Each technique has specific guidelines, so the best thing to do would be to ask your doctor, who will give you correct and detailed advice about the procedure and all the steps involved. For example, the steps that will be taken if you decide to have presbyopia surgery using intraocular lenses will be different to laser surgery. At Clínica Rahhal, we perform different techniques to treat presbyopia or old eyes, get in touch and we will advise you on how each one works and which one would be the most suitable for your specific case.
How long does the surgery last
The surgery for presbyopia or old eyes takes approximately 20-30 minutesper eye. The procedure is usually performed under topical anaesthesia (with drops). It does not require hospitalisation, so after the surgery you can go straight home, always following the instructions the doctor will give you so that your recovery is as quick and comfortable as possible.
Who will perform my surgery?
When deciding whether or not to have surgery and where to have it done, it is very important to get to know the medical team and who will perform the surgery. At Clínica Rahhal, we have been operating for more than 30 years, we are pioneers and use state-of-the-art technological equipment. As well as an expert medical team with a unit specialised in presbyopia surgeries, staffed by Dr. Rahhal, Dr. Alonso and Dr. Molina.
“The trifocal lens surgery was a success. The recovery process went very quickly and I couldn’t be happier with the results. I wish I had had the surgery earlier. Many thanks to the whole team.
Benefits of presbyopia surgery
Do you still have doubts about whether or not to undergo presbyopia surgery? Here are some of the main benefits of undergoing surgery for old eyes, according to our patients after the surgery.
- Corrects other defects: other refractive defects such as myopia or astigmatism can be corrected in the same presbyopia procedure.
- Quality of life: Is there anything more comfortable than not having to wear glasses all the time?
- Save: If you think about how much you spend a year on glasses, what you have spent and what you could spend over the next 10 years, you will realise that you can save a lot of money in the long run.
After the surgery
The doctor will give you specific guidelines to follow post-surgery, but there are a few things to keep in mind right after the surgery:
- Bring someone with you: we recommend bringing someone with you to help you get home as you will not be able to drive after the surgery.
- Bring sunglasses: to reduce the risk of getting particles in your eye.
- Don’t rub your eyes: you should avoid touching your eyes after the surgery
- Follow the guidance: whether taking antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs prescribed by the doctor.
What is the difference between presbyopia and hyperopia?
This is one of the most common doubts our patients have. Hyperopia is a congenital defect and presbyopia is an acquired defect. What they have in common is that they can be corrected with the same type of glasses. The causes are different, just as farsightedness is a defect in the length of the eye, presbyopia is caused by a dysfunction of the crystalline lens.
Is presbyopia surgery definitive?
Presbyopia surgery is definitive, because, in an adult patient, what causes the prescription to change is the dysfunction of the crystalline lens, so if we remove the lens and replace it, it is normal that it stops developing. Therefore the surgery for old eyes is definitive.
Will I have to undergo cataract surgery?
This is another one of the big doubts that Clínica Rahhal patients often have when they make an appointment. The answer is no. Presbyopia surgery with an intraocular lens replaces the lens that is starting to opacify, which could be considered a type of early cataract surgery.
What should I expect from the recovery process? Will I have to take a few days off work?
This type of surgery does not require hospitalisation and you can return home on the same day. However, we recommend bringing someone with you, as you will not be able to drive post-surgery and it will be more comfortable if someone helps you get home. As for sick leave, recovery will depend on the technique used for the surgery and the doctor in charge of the surgery will give you more specific guidelines for your specific case, but in principle you will be able to get back into your daily routine a few days after the surgery.
Can I have presbyopia surgery if I have had myopia surgery?
Yes, like everything else, as long as the inclusion criteria are met, such as maintaining a good corneal surface. There are more parameters that the medical team will take into account during the preliminary examinations which will allow them to decide whether or not the patient is a candidate for this type of surgery.
Can I bring someone with me to the surgery
Yes, as mentioned above, although the procedure is fairly quick and does not require hospitalisation, we always recommend bringing someone with you so they can help you to get home safely. Bear in mind that you will not be able to drive after surgery, so it may be more comfortable if someone is waiting for you when you leave the operating theatre.
What should I expect from the postoperative period?
The postoperative period for presbyopia surgery is generally quite short. At Clínica Rahhal, we usually tell our patients to rest the day after surgery and to take a week off work to ensure a perfect recovery. Although you will be able to get back into your daily routine within a few days, it all depends on your profession. However, we would like to clarify and clear up any doubts you may have regarding the postoperative period after presbyopia surgery, as well as some general recommendations.
Right after the surgery
Although patients normally get their vision back quite quickly, after the surgery it is normal to feel some discomfort and not to have 100% optimal vision. Your doctor will arrange follow-up visits after surgery to check that everything is going smoothly. Appointments will be made over the next few weeks to ensure you recover fully.
Although the doctor will tell you everything you need to know to look after yourself after the surgery, at Clínica Rahhal, we would like to share some of the most common things we tell our patients post-surgery:
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from possible particles that may get into your eyes and from the discomfort that the sun may cause.
- Take care when showering to prevent getting soap or other products in your eyes.
- Avoid applying eye make-up for the first few days.
- In the event of discomfort, do not rub your eyes.
- Avoid using chemical products on your hair.
- Before resuming physical activity, ask your doctor when the best time for this would be.
How long will it take me to see properly
Each patient goes through a different recovery process, which varies according to the type of surgery as well as the characteristics of each person’s eye. However, generally, recovery from presbyopia surgery is fairly quick. In general, you will start to see well within a few days and you will fully regain your vision after a few weeks. Once again I would like to remind you that: the doctor will give you detailed information about what to expect from the recovery process as well as the guidelines to follow.
Who is presbyopia or old eyes surgery suitable for?
In order to be eligible for presbyopia surgery, there are some parameters that the patient must fulfil, such as having a good corneal surface. However, this is not the only requirement that a patient must meet in order to undergo surgery for old eyes; some other requirements must be met. Therefore, some tests are conducted to assess whether or not the patient is a suitable candidate. If you would like to find out what they are, here is a link to the preoperative evaluation that we usually conduct at Clínica Rahhal.
“I have been wearing glasses since I was very young. Today, thanks to the ophthalmologists at Clínica Rahhal, I no longer have to wear them”.
José Miguel Carbonell
Presbyopia surgery cost and financing
First of all, we must take into account the technique we are going to use to perform surgery for old eyes, as the cost will vary from one technique to another. At Clínica Rahhal, we can give you the best advice about each technique and its cost, with a view to offering you useful information. For example, the trifocal lens technique usually costs roughly €2,300 per eye. Please note that this cost is fully financeable so that this will never hold you back from improving your quality of life. If you would like more information about the cost of presbyopia surgery, this article provides more details. [rahhal_presbyopia_calculator]
How can I book an appointment
Now that you know a little more about presbyopia or old eyes surgery, if you are interested in undergoing the surgery, we recommend making an appointment at Clínica Rahhal and our expert team will advise you and explain everything to you in more detail. You can call us on +34 960462121. Or fill in your details in the form below and our team will contact you as soon as possible to make an appointment.
Conclusion on what presbyopia surgery involves
We would like to give you a brief summary of what the presbyopia surgery involves in order to bring together all the information provided throughout this article:
- It is a straightforward procedure, which is performed on an outpatient basis.
- The most commonly used technique is the trifocal lens technique, which is a definitive technique.
- You won’t have to have cataract surgery in the future.
- It is a surgery that will lead to significant savings in the long run.
- You will stop having to wear glasses, improving your quality of life.
- At Clínica Rahhal, we are experts in surgeries like this.
If you still have any doubts about whether or not to undergo surgery for old eyes, here are some opinions from some of our patients about presbyopia surgery. Remember that, at Clínica Rahhal, we can finance your treatment, letting you pay for it in easy instalments, because the cost should not hold you back from improving your health.