New Hope for Low Vision
SML (Scharioth Macular Lens) brochure (PDF for download)
Low vision aids such as external telescopes and magnifiers can be uncomfortable, inconvenient and awkward to use, especially in public.
The SML (Scharioth Macular Lens) offers new hope to patients with low vision. The lens acts as a magnifier in the eye. It improves your near vision and quality of life. Distance vision and peripheral vision are not affected. Having this procedure does not influence your regular eye check-ups.
Careful preoperative assessment is needed to determine if you are suitable for the procedure and likely to have a good visual result. Patients are suitable if:
- you have low vision
- you have stable macula disease such as age related macular degeneration or secondary to diabetes (diabetic maculopathy)
- you have had or need cataract surgery (this will usually mean you are over 55 years old)
During your assessment we will check your distance vision, reading vision, and
macula. We will do tests to assess your improvement in near vision with magnification. If you are diabetic we will ask you about your blood sugar levels. If you are not an existing patient of our practice, it is useful to bring your vision results and macular scans from the either the previous 3 months, or previous visit if longer.
If you are suitable for surgery, you will need to have a further pre-operative appointment a week prior to the surgery to check your macula is stable.
The SML is a small bifocal lens that is implanted in one eye through a keyhole opening in eye. The surgery is quick and painless, done under local anaesthesia, and takes 10-15 minutes. The procedure is safe and effective in eyes with macular disease.
The surgery is performed anytime after cataract surgery, including many years down the track, and at least a month following cataract surgery. The SML is placed just on top of your intraocular lens (IOL), which was implanted into your eye at the time of your cataract surgery. This is called a “piggyback”lens. Like your existing IOL, the SML is implanted behind your iris, the coloured part of your eye. It is therefore not visible to the naked eye following the procedure.
There are special post-operative care instructions and follow up visits. Full recovery will take a month and includes medicated eye drops and daily reading exercises.
All surgery carries risk and Dr Chiu will fully discuss these with you, and answer any questions that you have. Any treatment approach will be individually tailored to you.