FDA Approves New Intraocular Lens for Cataracts

Technis Symfony IOL can improve vision at near, intermediate, and far distances.

The FDA recently approved the Technis Symfony intraocular lens (IOL) for use in patients with cataracts.

This IOL gives patients extended depth-of-focus that helps improve visual activity at near, intermediate, and far distances, according to a press release from the FDA. The newly-approved IOL is intended to replace the natural, clouded lens during cataract surgery.

Traditional monofocal IOLs can only offer limited improvement to long distance vision, but the new Tecnis Symfony IOL can provide improved vision both close and far. This could also reduce the need for glasses or contacts after surgery, the FDA reported.

The approval was based on a study that compared 148 patients who received the Tecnis Symfony IOL, and 151 patients who received a monofocal IOL. The study compared visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and adverse events.

Researchers found that 77% of patients with the Tecnis Symfony IOL had 20/25 vision without glasses at intermediate distances, and only 34% of patients with monofocal IOL experienced good vision at that distance. Patients with the newly-approved IOL were able to read smaller lines on an eye chart than those with the monofocal IOL.

Tecnis Symfony IOL can cause blurred or worsened vision, bleeding or infection. It can also cause reduced contract sensitivity that can worsen under poor visibility conditions, according to the FDA. Visual halos, glare, or starburst can also be experienced with this new implant.

“While IOLs have been the mainstay of cataract treatment for many years, we continue to see advances in the technology,” said Malvina Eydelman, MD, director of the Division of Ophthalmic and Ear, Nose and Throat Devices in the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health. “The Tecnis Symfony Extended Range of Vision IOL provides a new option for patients that may result in better vision across a broader range of distances.”