HONOLULU, Hawaii (HawaiiNewsNow) - Ophthalmologist Dr. Alan Faulkner is the first eye surgeon in Hawaii to perform cataract surgeries using a brand new type of lens.
"This lens allows you to do all your life tasks essentially without glasses," he said.
The lens is the first-of-its-kind trifocal lens that gives cataract patients clear vision at all distances ― near, mid and far.
Traditional cataract lenses can't do this.
"It looks just like the other lens, it's what's ground into it in terms of the optics that's different," Faulkner said.
Trifocal lens have been available for years in other countries. Last week, the FDA finally cleared it for patients in the U.S.
"In the U.S. we've basically been behind by only having bifocal lens at the best," he said.
This week, Faulkner did three surgeries with the new lens. He was amazed at one patient’s results.
“I took a card with vision and I said, ‘OK, tell me where it gets blurry.’ And I backed up from his close point and I went all the way back to the wall and it never got blurry,” he said.
Faulkner's office performs more than 1,000 cataract surgeries a year. He said the trifocal lens will eventually become the norm.
“What would make someone not an appropriate candidate is other pathologies or diseases of the eye that affect their ability to see beyond just the cataract,” he said.
The new lens isn’t covered by Medicare and costs from $3,000 to $3,500 per eye.
Faulkner believes for patients who can afford it it’s a good investment.
“The great thing about this is this is going to last you for the rest of your life,” he said.