What Are Side Effects of Crystalens?

February 16, 2011

My eye doctor is recommending a Crystalens implant.

But before I proceed, I wanted to learn more about the possible side effects of Crystalens from an independent source (preferably other patients that have such implants).

Is there a risk I will see double after surgery? Will my night vision suffer? How about light sensitivity? Any other risks or complications I should be aware of?

If any readers have had Crystalens implants and can share their experiences that would be wonderful.




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5 Responses to “What Are Side Effects of Crystalens?”

  • m3

    I had Crystalens inserted in both eyes 3 years ago and have had mixed results. The good news is that I almost never wear glasses. The bad is that through a series of events, my eyes ended up being corrected differently- one for far vision and one for near. Sometimes it’s a little distracting, and I squint more, but I didn’t want the touch-up lasik because i have dry eyes. Another issue is discussed below.

    My experience was maybe more complicated than for most people, because I started with extreme myopia, and apparently it’s difficult for an eye surgeon to nail the correct prescription when a patient is so near-sighted. My right eye was done first, and it started out a little far-sighted but has now corrected itself to 20/20.

    My left lens ended up making me slightly nearsighted and also did not unfold correctly during the initial surgery. A year later I developed the clouding side effect and had the laser treatment, plus the surgeon “knocked” the lens into the correct configuration with the laser. After that I could read with my left eye, except for very fine print- but its distant vision was much worse! That eye started having high pressure, too, but went back to normal within a month, until… this summer when it was checked and found to be at 32. The pressure dropped back to normal with eye drops, but some damage was done and i now have glaucoma in that eye. I don’t know if it would have occurred in the absence of the eye surgeries.

    So I would say that if anyone reading this wants a simple procedure above all else, get the basic monofocal lens, and wear glasses for reading. On the other hand, it’s very cool to live without glasses (especially for someone who was so myopic I had to feel for my glasses once they were set down), and odds are that the outcome would be better for most people.

    I have no night glare, but very infrequently I do see little round, moving light areas in my peripheral vision- Again, from a life of being close to blind, the overall result is amazing. All you normal-vision people have a more complicated decision.

  • Melanie Johnson

    From the time I had the crystalens implant, about 2 years ago, I have had problems coordinating my eyes when reading. I feel like they want to cross, and when I let my eyes go “lazy” and I see double, then I can read out of one of the sides of the double vision. Sounds crazy, but it’s the way I can read the best. Otherwise I have to struggle to keep them focused on the words and it slows me down.
    Also, after consulting with a retina specialist, I discovered that my eyesight on my crystalens side was getting much worse because of a grey veil or “shower curtain effect” that has developed behind the implant. Apparently this is a common side effect of any cataract surgery, or when a lens has been replaced by an implanted one. I was advised to go back to my surgeon and have this removed by laser.
    I don’t have any insurance and am wondering what this will cost. I paid $5000 for the implant two years ago.
    I noticed the problem with my crystalens eye getting worse when I noticed that colors seen through my left eye (the unoperated one) were brighter then when I covered that eye and looked out of the crystalens eye. Being an artist, color is very noticeable and differences are apparent. This, however, depends on the light in the room when I am comparing sides.
    If I had it to do over again, I don’t think I would have had the crystalens implant. Or perhaps I should have had both eyes done so they would coordinate better, but now I’m reluctant to touch the other eye.
    By the way, I did have successful mono vision lasik done about 20 years ago and wanted it repeated when it was no longer effective, but I was advised that this crystalens surgery was superior to having a repeat lasik because of my age, which was 61. I have always been farsighted.

  • ari

    you are seeing the edge of the lens, i think. it probably will get less noticeable with time.

  • R Thomas

    3 weeks after implant Having lots of problems with light refraction in low light conditions from lights incoming from a 45 degree angle (ie oncoming headlights ok but light coming from rearview mirror in peripheral causing lots of halos like your seeing the whole edge of the lens).

    Having what I would describe as migraines in the left eye and hyper light sensitivity experiences (two so far) hoping these will deminish as the eye stabilizes.

  • ari weitzner

    the strength of crystalens is the absence of any side effects. the weakness is that near vision is not as good as the other multifocal implants,