Intraocular lenses, commonly called IOLs, may be one of the most important ophthalmic developments in the past 30 years. These tiny prescription lenses are placed inside the eye during cataract or Clear Lens Extraction And Replacement surgery (CLEAR), replacing the eye’s natural lens (called a cataract when it becomes clouded). Prior to the development of IOLs, cataract patients were forced to wear thick “coke bottle” glasses or contact lenses after the surgery. They were essentially blind without their glasses.
IOLs are small, and because they are placed safely within the eye, the lenses are invisible, and provide a new sense of freedom and comfort.
Today, patients receiving IOLs often enjoy the best vision of their lives. Thanks to sophisticated formulas used to calculate the corrective prescription power of the lens. We look at Cataract surgery as a chance to give our patients excellent vision, and in many cases, without glasses.
Types of Intraocular Lenses (IOLs) :
There are three main types of IOLs, the standard monofocal lens and the “Lifestyle” lenses which include multifocal and accommodating, and toric astigmatism correcting lenses.
Monofocal lenses are the standard lens and the most common used in cataract surgery today. These lenses are made to allow the patient to see at distance, perhaps even without glasses. The patient will still need to use reading glasses for any near activities and they do not correct astigmatism.
Lifestyle lenses offer the patient enhanced vision by providing both distance and near vision or by correcting astigmatism. These lenses give the patient the best vision possible with much less dependence on glasses.
Multifocal lenses are a type of lifestyle lens. These lenses have two or more focal points or spots where vision is clear. The areas of clear vision are usually at distance and can be chosen for various near points.
Accommodating lenses are another Lifestyle lens. These lenses gives patients the chance to experience vision more naturally. The lens has the ability to focus or shift slightly in the eye, creating a more natural range of vision. Patients can expect good distance, intermediate and near vision. The amount of near vision varies from patient to patient.
The last type of Lifestyle lens is a Toric lens. This type of lens is a special monofocal lens that also corrects for astigmatism. It has to be placed at the proper orientation in the eye.