Mr Venki Sundaram
Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
MD FRCOphth MRCOphth BMBCh BSc

Macula Lens

What is the Macula Lens?

The Scharioth Macula Lens is a magnifying lens that is inserted into the better seeing eye in patients with advanced age related macular degeneration (AMD), who have previously undergone cataract surgery or are about to undergo cataract surgery.

What does the Macula Lens do?

The Macula Lens provides magnification of near images, therefore helping patients to read without the use of a handheld magnifying aid – see Image 1.

How does the Macula Lens work?

The Macula Lens has a small central magnifying zone – see Image 2. When a person is looking at a near object, there is a natural constriction of the pupil, therefore directing light through the central magnifying zone and providing magnification of images for reading.

When a patient looks into the distance, there is a natural dilation of the pupil, allowing light to bypass around the central magnifying zone, so distance vision is not adversely affected.

Who is the Macula Lens suitable for?

The Macula Lens is potentially suitable for motivated patients with advanced dry AMD or stable wet AMD (with vision between 6/19 to 6/60) who wish to improve their reading vision, without the use of handheld magnifying aids. In addition, a potential patient would need to demonstrate an improvement in reading vision with a Near Vision Addition Reading test that I would carry out. It may also be suitable for patients with other macular problems, such as myopic maculopathy, diabetic maculopathy and inherited retinal dystrophies.

Who is the Macula Lens not suitable vision for?

The Macula Lens is not suitable for people with vision better that approximately 6/19. Also, particular ocular features such as active wet AMD, iris abnormalities, shallow anterior chambers, advanced glaucoma and lens capsule abnormalities. It is important that all these are excluded by a suitably qualified Ophthalmologist prior to Macula Lens insertion.

How is the Macula Lens inserted?

The Macula Lens is inserted through a micro incision into the ciliary sulcus of the eye, in a procedure taking approximately 10 minutes.

What are the risks of the Macula Lens?

The risks of inserting a Macula Lens are the same that apply to any intraocular procedure (e.g. cataract surgery) such as infection – with approximately a 1:1000 risk of impairment in vision.

What aftercare is involved?

The aftercare is the same as following cataract surgery, namely using eye drops for 4 weeks and avoiding strenuous exercise. In addition, patients will be required to spend at least 20 minutes twice a day, training their reading vision for the first 2 weeks after surgery.

What evidence is there that the Macula Lens works?

The Macula Lens has been investigated with several clinical studies, including a European Multicentre trial, showing improvement in reading vision in the majority of patients.

How much does the Macula Lens cost?

The Macula Lens cost £800, plus a hospital surgical fee of approximately £2000.

Macula Lens magnifying properties
Image 1 – an illustration of the magnifying properties of the Macula Lens

Macula Lens central magnifying zone
Image 2 – an illustration of the Macula Lens, showing the central magnifying zone