A cataract can cause your eye’s lens to become “cloudy,” like looking through a foggy windshield. During cataract surgery, your clouded eye lens is removed and replaced with a clear, intraocular lens. Similar to the function of your eye’s natural lens, the intraocular lens bends light rays entering the eye, which helps you to see.
Most intraocular lenses are made out of either silicone or acrylic. They are typically coated with a protective material to help safeguard your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays.
There are different types of intraocular lenses, as well as different focusing powers. Just as your contact lenses or glasses are tailored to your vision needs, so are your intraocular lenses.
Here are four types of intraocular lenses to consider:
- Monofocal intraocular lenses — Monofocal lenses offer one focusing distance. The options are up close, medium range or distance vision. Most people opt for distance vision and use glasses to see up close. If you opt for a close-up focus, you can get glasses to see long distance instead. Generally speaking, monofocal intraocular lenses are typically the only type covered by your insurance and Medicare.
- Multifocal intraocular lenses — A multifocal lens has focal zones that are set at different powers, which enable you to see both near and far. This means you’ll be able to recognize a friend from a distance at the grocery store and read a book up close, with less dependence on reading glasses. There may be an adjustment period for this type of intraocular lens, as your brain learns to select the right focus. It is often easier to adjust if a multifocal lens has been implanted in both eyes.
- Toric intraocular lenses — Previously, there wasn’t an option to address the astigmatism aspect of a patient’s vision during cataract surgery. Surgeons would typically perform refractive surgery or LASIK surgery after an intraocular lens was implanted, to help correct vision problems. Now, there are toric intraocular lenses designed for cataract patients with an astigmatism, which can improve uncorrected distance vision and contrast in low lighting. This may eliminate the need for glasses after surgery, as the toric lens has the ability to correct both the cataract and the astigmatism.
- Accommodating intraocular lenses – This type of intraocular lens allows you to change focus easily from near to far. By allowing the eye to focus on objects across a broad range of distances, accommodating intraocular lenses reduce or eliminate dependence on glasses or contacts. This also provides significant advantages in addressing intermediate vision. Modeled after the human eye, Crystalens® is the first FDA-approved accommodating intraocular lens.
Not sure which type of intraocular lens to choose? Dr. Benaim helps cataract patients find the right lens for their vision needs. Call (561) 747-7777 to book an appointment.