During cataract surgery, the Intraocular lens (IOL) replaces the clouded natural lens in your eye to provide the function of focusing light onto the retina. IOLs are usually made of plastic and most of them are monofocal lenses to correct for distance vision. With advances in technology, specialized IOLs have and continue to be developed to improve the ease and success of cataract surgery and to improve the patient’s vision. Now, from multifocal IOLs to IOLs that block UV and blue light radiation, patients have greater options available to them. The first symptom is usually that your vision becomes blurred, hazy or cloudy.
Presbyopia-Correcting IOLs – Multifocal or Accommodating IOLs
Presbyopia is another common condition associated with aging, in which the eyes begin to have difficulty focusing on near objects. This condition makes it hard for people to read small print, which is why many people over 40 keep reading glasses close by.
Similar to bifocal or multifocal reading glasses, accommodating and multifocal IOLs provide vision correction for far and near (reading) vision to provide the patient with clear sight at a range of distances without the need for reading glasses. Although you may be able to do most activities without glasses, there may be situations that require an eyeglass prescription to sharpen your vision.
Multifocal lenses contain multiple lens powers for various viewing distances, while accommodating lenses have one lens power but accommodate or move with your eye as it focuses on objects at a range of distances.
Other Types of IOLs
IOLs that block out ultraviolet (UV) and blue light radiation, which have both proven to be dangerous to your eyes, are also available.
Other premium IOLs exist such as aspheric IOLs which, similar to your real lens, are aspheric in shape and can improve vision quality, especially in low light conditions or toric IOLS which are suitable for correcting astigmatism, nearsightedness or farsightedness. Premium lenses such as these are more costly than standard monofocal IOLs and may not be right for everyone.
Selecting the right IOL for your eyes, lifestyle and vision is a decision that should be made together with a trusted eye doctor. For some people, it may even be an option to place different IOLs in each eye.