Quality of life greatly improves after cataract surgery

March 15, 2005

Jackson, MI—The patient-reported quality of life is high with the AcrySof IOLs (Alcon Laboratories), according to Paul Ernest, MD, who reported a significant improvement in the quality of life after cataract surgery with implantation of either a conventional AcrySof IOL or the AcrySof Natural lens.

Dr. Ernest, founder of TLC Michigan, Jackson, MI, reached this conclusion by conducting a survey using the 39-item National Eye Institute Visual Functioning Questionnaire (NEI VFQ-39): Vision Specific Instrument. The scores on the survey range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more satisfactory assessments compared with the lower scores. The study was a patient-masked, parallel group, randomized, multicenter trial. The patients were interviewed by phone, once before IOL implantation (baseline) and then between 30 and 60 days and 120 to 180 days after IOL implantation in the second eye.

At the baseline interview, after implantation of the first IOL, the scores on the NEI VFQ-39 when the patients were asked to rate their general vision were 60 and 59, respectively, for the AcrySof Natural IOL and the control IOL. Between 120 and 180 days, the respective scores increased to 89 and 90. At baseline, the scores for social functioning questions for the AcrySof Natural and control IOLs were 88 and 84, and these increased to 98 and 90, respectively between 120 and 180 days after implantation.

At the baseline interview, the scores for near activities for the AcrySof Natural IOL and the control IOL were 66 and 64, respectively. These increased to 93 and 94, respectively, between 120 and 180 days after implantation. The scores for distance activities at baseline were 69 and 68, respectively, and they increased to 95 and 96, respectively, between 120 and 180 days after implantation.

The baseline driving scores had similar improvements. The scores for the two IOLs increased from 58 and 59 to 90 and 89 between 120 and 180 days after implantation. The increase in the color vision scores rose from 86 and 83 at baseline to 98 and 99 between 120 and 180 days after implantation, according to Dr. Ernest.

No patients were lost to follow-up.

"The AcrySof Natural IOL was designed to mimic light transmission by the healthy adult human lens," Dr. Ernest concluded. "There were significant improvements in the quality of life after cataract surgery with implantation of either the conventional AcrySof IOL or the AcrySof Natural IOL."