Bright Sight

Oliver Backhouse, Consultant Eye Surgeon

Macular Degeneration FAQs

1] What is the IOL-VIP?

This new lens is specially designed for people with macular problems. The macula is the part of the retina that sees things in fine detail. IOL-VIP stands for intraocular lens for visually impaired people. The IOL-VIP works on the principle of magnification as well as deflecting the image by 10 degrees onto healthy retina.

2] Does it stop my macular degeneration from getting worse?

No. When you are being assessed for suitability for the IOL-VIP any signs of active changes in the macular means the lens should not be used. People with stable macular change (dry are old wet changes) are suitable for the lens trial. Those with small macular scars have the better outcome.

3] How do I know if this lens will benefit me?

This requires a detailed examination and measurement of the eye. On your visit to the IOL-VIP specialist you will be tested on a simulator to see if you significantly gain vision in which case the IOL-VIP is likely to be of benefit to you.

4] Will I still need my glasses and magnification visual aids?

Yes. The IOL-VIP has magnification of around 30% but will not really change your glasses prescription which you should continue to wear. You should have your glasses checked and be reassessed for magnification aids following the IOL-VIP surgery to gain the best benefit.

5] Can I have the IOL-VIP if I have already had cataract surgery?

In theory yes but currently only very few patients have had these 3 lenses implanted and extreme caution should be given if this approach is to take place. Seeking an opinion from the IOL-VIP specialist is advised.

6] Can I get this on the NHS?

Currently the IOL-VIP is not available on the NHS. We are hopeful that further research will allow the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) to agree that it should be used in NHS hospital for the benefit of patients but this process can take a long time.