Vision Simulator Prepares Cataract Patients for Surgery

The new SimVis simulator can help cataract surgery candidates choose the best intraocular lens (IOL) for their lifestyle and vision needs, according to Verdict.

vision simulator

Coming Soon: SimVis Vision Simulator

Although cataract surgery is routine and safe, you may have questions about scheduling an invasive eye procedure. But what if you could get a glimpse of how cataract surgery can improve your vision?  Developed by scientists at the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), the SimVis is a lightweight vision simulator that can be worn alone or in a headset. The device was designed to imitate the effects of a multifocal IOL and help patients anticipate their post-cataract surgery vision. The SimVis is not yet available on the market, but researchers predict the device holds the potential to assist millions of patients in selecting the best lens for cataract surgery.

Cataracts, a Common Cause of Vision Loss

A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye, and it can cause blindness if left untreated. Today, more than 24 million Americans over 40 have cataracts. Most cases of cataracts can be treated with a short outpatient procedure to remove the clouded lens and insert a prescription IOL. Determining the best lens is often the most difficult decision, but the SimVis can eliminate much of the guesswork. 

How the SimVis Mimics IOLs

The SimVis uses lenses, mirrors and light modulators to simulate different types of IOLs. The binocular headset allows patients to experience vision changes associated with different lenses. Throughout the simulation, the device is controlled wirelessly via a mobile or tablet app.

One of the best benefits of the SimVis is it is non-invasive, so it decreases the fear barrier of cataract removal. CSIC researcher Susana Marcos says, "The possibility of the patient experimenting [sic] vision with a multifocal lens before the surgery is very attractive to reduce uncertainty and to manage expectations. Visual simulators are an ideal technique to provide patients with a new realistic experience of multifocality before the implantation of a new intraocular lens" (Science Daily).

Details about the SimVis are available in the February 7, 2019 edition of Scientific Reports.

Make an Appointment With your Eye Doctor

One in six adults have a developing cataract by age 40, and half of adults have a cataract by age 70. Don't let cataracts affect your independence. If you have symptoms like clouded, blurry vision, double vision, fading of colors, and sensitivity to light, call your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam.