Panoptix Lens Implants Update

KimT

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I'm posting this in the general discussion because it could apply to PALS, CALS, and anyone else who wants to rid themselves of glasses.

In September, the FDA approved Alcon Panoptix lenses. They have been used in Europe for several years with great success.

These lenses allow people who wear progressive lens glasses or bifocals to see distance, mid-range, and close up, just like progressive glasses. They have had a similar lens in the US that is also great but Panoptix surpasses it for reading.

After my first implant, for the first time since my 30s, I could read without glasses. Yesterday I had the second eye done. Today, when I went for my post-op, my doctor cleared me to drive without glasses. He was happy with how both eyes were doing.

One of the reasons I posted it here is that I'm a big advocate of taking care of your general health. I've read too many stories of PALS who waited to have a tooth extracted or kept putting off routine physical exams and I do understand.

My brother, who suffers from early-stage Alzheimer's disease, had one cataract done five years ago and didn't do the other until last November. They did one for distance and the other for closeup. His brain is having a hard time adjusting to the one they did in November but he can read and doesn't need glasses. He is 84.
Hopefully, some of the newly diagnosed people will make sure they do general health care. One PALS on FB had to have major dental work after he was vented and, I imagine, it was much more difficult.
 

nona

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Kim, I have an eye exam next week and plan to bring this up. What is the recovery like?
 

Fusia

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Kim, great advice. I've thought about how difficult it will be for me to manage putting on/taking off my reading glasses down the road. Like nona, I will bring it up at an upcoming eye exam.

Also, I'm sorry about your brother's Alzheimer's -- another heartbreaking disease. My husband lived with it for 6 years.
 

KimT

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The recovery is just like cataract surgery. For the first day, you rest but you are allowed to watch TV and walk around. When you sleep or nap, you wear a plastic shield over the eye so you won't accidentally rub it in your sleep. At the one-week point, if all looks well, you can sleep without the shield. I have no problem falling asleep with the shield.

You go back to the surgeon the day after surgery. They check pressure in both eyes and examine the retina. They also measure your distance and reading in both eyes.

It's very nice to be able to read without glasses and look at the clock, at night, to know what time it is. My eyes weren't that bad to begin with BUT my reading and computer required glasses.

One of the best parts of these lenses is that they seem to work with people who have had Lasik surgery (I did) in the past and people, even without cataracts, are getting them.

With the first one, I was a bit afraid to take a shower. This time I'm not. I'm taking one after I sign off. You just keep the operated eye shut so soap won't go into it.

You WILL have to use antibiotic, steroid, and NSAI eye drops for about a month in each eye post surgery. The best way to get them in your eye is to lie flat on your back and drop them in or have someone else drop them in. Yesterday, he told me to stop using the other two and just finish off the steroid drops in the eye I had done a month ago.

He said vision improvement could go on for at least three months but I'd be very happy with what I have today.

There are dozens of YouTube videos on these lenses as well as reviews on Patients Like Me.
 

KarenNWendyn

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I am a little over a year post cataract surgery and lens implants. I’m also pleased with the results. I was previously wearing contacts and was losing hand function to the degree where I could no longer remove my lenses or put them in. My glasses were thicker than coke bottles. Now I can read and use a computer without any additional correction. I did have some laser surgery on both eyes last week to fix some tissue “ingrowth” that apparently is common with the shape of my eyeballs.

I agree with Kim that if you are a PALS or CALS and you think you might need this type of eye surgery or major dental work or any other elective procedures, do it early in the ALS course before life gets more complicated. Because it will.
 

Samkl

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Hi notBrad, I can’t see how to message just you, so apologies to you and everyone else for the thread hijack. I just wanted to know how you went with the Theracurmin powder. Cheers, S
 

EricInLA

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I'm glad you hijacked this because I never saw the original thread, and it's of interest to me. I'm gonna steer this car back onto the track. I've never heard of Panoptix or the concept of "lens implants", but the Lasik option has been on my mind for the same reasons articulated above. I'm anticipating that at some point I wont have the manual dexterity to put in/take out my contact lenses. So I'm wondering. . . what is the difference between Panoptix and Lasik? Pros and cons? I've worn contacts without problems for over 30 years, and never considered Lasik because I like to avoid surgeries that I don't have to do, but my diagnosis has sort of upended that philosophy.
 

KimT

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Lasik reshapes your existing lens. Cataract surgery removes your existing lens and replaces it with an artificial lens.

The big difference is that, with lasik, your vision can regress and you can still get cataracts. I had a very minimal cataract in my left eye but my right eye didn't have one. I had Lasik in 2001 and it slowly regressed from 20/20 distance to 20/40 in one eye and 20/60 in the other. My close up vision required me to wear reading glasses and that part got worse and worse until I was wearing progressive lenses.

Both surgeries are done with laser although some doctors still implant lenses without a laser. There are different levels of lenses.

Lasik is not covered by medicare. Cataract surgery is but the Panoptix lenses cost extra (about $3000 per eye). My brother's were entirely paid for by Medicare and his supplement because he had one eye for distance and the other for reading which is common in older people with cataracts. You can also elect to do both eyes for distance but you'll need reading glasses and that and the reading glasses will be covered by Medicare and a supplement.

Recovery was the same for both except with the cataract surgery, my eyes were dilated and stayed sensitive to light for about three days. It's worse with blue eyes, which I have. With Lasik I could see 20/20 immediately but I wasn't given drops and my eyes felt like they had sand in them for about 24 hours. With Lasik both eyes are done at once and the whole thing takes less than 15 minutes. With cataract surgery and lens replacement, one eye is don at a time, usually a couple of weeks apart, for me there was no discomfort but I had to use the drops for a month after in each eye. Vision slowly improves and can keep improving (with the Panoptix) for three months or more.

Everyone has a different experience with lens replacement. My close-up vision was supposed to come last but I saw 20/25 close up the following day.

It is now a month after my second eye has been done and the latest test said distance 20/25, mid range 20/20 and reading 20/20. It's the best vision I've had since I can remember. I had worn glasses since I was seven.

There are many levels of artificial lenses and their cost depends the type you choose. My main goal was to be completely free from glasses so that's why I took the plunge and got the Panoptix.
 

EricInLA

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That's super helpful, thanks for explaining all of this. It looks like I've got a decision to make. I'm 49 and do not have cataracts so I would be going in just for lens replacement. I've always been nearsighted and just recently have developed the need for reading glasses.

I'm not on Medicare quite yet but I do have vision insurance through my wife's work -- something called MES Vision. It seems like Lasik is the more conservative approach, with the downside being I leave myself open to the need for further corrective steps in the future. Of course the whole point here is to get my eyes to a place where I wont need to worry about that. OK I'll mull this one over.
 
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