Results from 1 year of follow-up in a multicenter clinical trial show that an add-on lens (Scharioth Macula Lens [SML], Medicontour) increases near vision without affecting distance vision in pseudophakic patients with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
“Treatment of neovascular AMD has been revolutionized, but if you look at methods for rehabilitation of near vision in patients with AMD, we still have primitive aids,” said Sathish Srinivasan, MD.
“Therefore, there has been tremendous interest in the use of magnifying IOLs for a subset of patients,” said Dr. Srinivasan, who is an investigator in the prospective clinical trial and consultant ophthalmologist, University Hospital Ayr, Ayr, Scotland.
Reviewing other IOLs/telescopic systems that have been approved or are under investigation, Dr. Srinivasan noted that they have a number of downsides.
“Most of the other technologies require a large incision and involve difficult surgery,” he said. “Some of these devices also affect distance vision and visual field, and all can be used only in patients undergoing cataract surgery. This means there is an underserved population of previously pseudophakic patients.”
Other techanologies are also extremely expensive, have limited reversibility, and with an intraocular Galilean telescope design, have limited magnification, he noted.
Back to the drawing board
The aims for developing a better alternative are to achieve sufficient magnification with a device that can be implanted in an easy and safe procedure independent of lens status. It should also not reduce the visual field or distance vision and be both reversible and affordable.