Monday, June 6, 2011

Cataract Surgery Starbursts from IOL?

Question: Have you ever heard of an IOL having a defect that resulted in a line on the lens that gave a starbursts 11:00 to 5:00 from headlights and other point sources of light? I have this in my right eye and it is making driving very difficult. Other than that, my vision with glasses in that eye is 20/15 and mildly nearsighted without glasses.

Answer: The consensus among our Cataract Surgeon Editorial Advisors is that a defect in an intraocular lens implant (IOL) is indeed exceedingly unusual. It is possible that the lens was damaged during insertion but this extremely rare as well, but could happen. Although it is not easy for the Advisors to comment without actually observing, there is a common suggestion that based on their own experiences that a more likely cause is a very fine crease in the posterior capsule which is typically left in place to allow the proper positioning and stability of the IOL. If this is the case, after waiting 90 days or so after your surgery to see if it resolves, your Cataract Surgeon will be able to perform a YAG Laser Capsulotomy which is a quick, painless laser procedure done with eye drops to numb the eye and takes just a few minutes. This will allow an optically clear opening to be placed in the capsule and should alleviate the symptoms. If this is not the case then other sources can be ruled out such as some transillumination defect in the Iris-also very rare. By instilling pupil constricting eye drops in the eye surgeons office this too can be ruled out. Yes, a lens defect or damage can occur, but it is very rare and other sources of your symptoms should be ruled out as well.

Important Note: The information presented on the About Cataract Surgery Blog or provided in response to a request for information in the Ask Cataract Surgeons section on is not intended to diagnose or treat eye problems, eye conditions or eye diseases including appropriateness of treatment, risks, complications or side effects as related to Cataracts, Cataract Surgery of Lens Implants. In particular a response to an inquiry made on the Ask Cataract Surgeons section of is not meant to take the place of the professional medical care provided by your eye doctor, ophthalmologist and Cataract Surgeon. Contacting us via e-mail or any other means is not a substitute for medical care.

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