How do I know if I have posterior capsular opacification?

Posterior Capsular Opacification (PCO) is the slow haze that develops on the normally clear, cellophane-like envelope (a part of your body) called the "capsule." Before the cloudy lens material was removed and then replaced at the same time with an intraocular lens (IOL), the capsule was the "wrapping" holding the natural lens in place.

For most people who have had single-vision IOLs implanted, the rate of haze formation on the capsule is about 10% cumulatively per year. The vision of people with presbyopia-correcting IOLs, however, is much more sensitive to this haze formation. Over 50% need it treated within one year of IOL implantation. The treatment is a very quick, painless, and generally quite safe YAG laser opening of the hazy central capsule, leaving the periphery intact to continue holding the IOL in place.

The most common presenting signs of developing capsular haze are 1) the slow loss of good reading vision, and 2) an increase in haze and glare around lights at night.

_Written by J. Trevor Woodhams, M.D. - Chief of Surgery, Woodhams Eye Clinic