Herzig Eye Institute in Cataract Surgery on July 26, 2016

The recent approval by Health Canada of the TECNIS® Symfony Intraocular Lens (IOL) is good news for people with cataracts and those who may have trouble reading or focusing on close objects (presbyopia). The Symfony lens is the first and only extended range of vision IOL to correct presbyopia and improve vision in people with cataracts, as well as correcting far, intermediate, and near vision, with the decreased need for glasses.

“The availability of the TECNIS Symfony IOL is welcome news for many of my patients,” says Sheldon Herzig, M.D., co-founder and medical director at the Herzig Eye Institute in Toronto. “The new lens effectively improves both near and distance vision without glasses following cataract surgery, while maintaining excellent night vision. Eliminating the need for reading glasses has been one of my patients’ greatest needs, and has a significant impact on their quality of life.”

Dr. Herzig has been a pioneer in the use of the Symfony lens that is now approved throughout Canada.

“The beauty of this lens, which is used to replace the human lens,” says Dr. Herzig, “is that it can give the person both distance and reading vision.”


A cataract means that the natural lens in the eye is cloudy. The clouding can be mild or very dense.

The common signs associated with advanced cataracts include blurred or hazy vision that can’t be improved by changing glasses prescriptions; a feeling of a film over the eyes that doesn’t go away with blinking; a change in distance and/or near vision; and an increased sensitivity to glare, especially at night.

The condition is very common due to the fact that most cataracts are related to the aging process. It can occur in one eye only, or both eyes. Cataracts can be detected by performing an eye exam with dilating drops.

“There are also people whose lenses are still clear,” reports Dr. Herzig, “They don’t have a cataract, but they’re very frustrated with their glasses. You can change the lens when it’s cloudy, you can change it when it’s clear, and the end result is getting rid of your glasses before it gets cloudy for the purpose of eliminating distance, reading glasses or both. This is called Refractive Lens Exchange.”

The Refractive Lens Exchange procedure, using the new Symfony lens, has become so safe, and such an easy experience, that many patients opt for this procedure rather than Laser Vision Correction in order to restore both distance and reading vision.


When a patient comes in, it’s important to assess them for the right procedure, depending on their occupation, their hobbies, and the nature of their eyes. There are different procedures that work better in different situations.

“We’re all interested in quality of life,” says Dr. Herzig. “Many of the baby boomers now are still very athletic, golfing, playing tennis, so to have clear vision, not only for sports, but just for everyday life, and not having to look for your reading glasses all the time, there are these wonderful options that can take that nuisance away and just make life a lot more pleasant.”

Cataracts are a vision problem that nearly all of us will face as we age. If you are concerned that you or someone important to you may have cataracts, call the Herzig Eye Institute. If you’re not a resident of Canada, no problem. Herzig Eye Institute is still happy to help you with your vision. Simply contact us for a consultation. We’ll examine your eyes and make a recommendation for the procedure for you.