Most people’s vision remains stable until their 40s. At that time, the eye’s natural crystalline lens begins to gradually thicken and harden. Over time, it becomes difficult for the muscles in the eye to focus the lens. This is known as loss of accommodation, or presbyopia, and its earliest symptom is difficulty seeing things up close. Today, loss of accommodation is most commonly treated with reading glasses or bifocal lenses. But, as the crystalline lens continues to age, cataracts, or a clouding of the natural lens, will develop, eventually requiring removal of the natural lens and the implantation of an intraocular lens (IOL). In standard cataract surgery, the IOL that is implanted provides an optical clear medium for light to enter the eye, and often times the lens power can be calculated to reduce some of the dependency on glasses or contacts. However, standard IOL technologies do not address the fundamental issue of presbyopia.
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