Before the development of Intraocular Lenses or IOLs, people were prescribed with special types of contact lenses or thick eyeglasses so that they can see after the surgical removal of cataracts. Now, cataract patients have several types of IOLs to choose from after surgery. Just like the lens of the eye, an IOL serves its function by focusing the light that enters through the cornea on to the retina. IOLs are created with a flexible and foldable material and come in different types to suit different vision problems.
Before the surgery, your eyes will be measured to determine what your IOL prescription will be. Afterwards, your options will be considered to choose the best type of IOL to suit your specific situation. The type of IOL that you choose will affect your vision when you are not wearing glasses. For some people and for certain activities, eyeglasses may still be required. Should you have astigmatism, you may have to consider toric IOLs and other recommended treatment options for your situation. There is always the option of choosing premium IOLs at a higher price to reduce the need for eyeglasses.
The different types of IOLs include monofocal lenses, accommodative or multifocal lenses and toric IOLs. As the name suggests, monofocal IOLs are set to one distance type such as near or far distances and will require eyeglasses for other distances. With this type of lens, patients can choose monovision where one eye is set for near vision and the other for distance vision. However, this method is not recommended for everyone. Multifocal or accommodative lenses are a newer type of IOL that can reduce or completely eliminate the need for eyeglasses. These IOLs have a series of focal rings on them and allows the patient to see objects at different distances clearly. The lens’ design allows specific eye muscles to move and to change the focus almost as much as the natural lens. Toric IOLs are monofocal IOLS that are specifically designed to correct astigmatism. IOLs also include filters to keep the retina protected from damaging light exposure. The doctor will choose the appropriate filters for the patient and their specific needs during lens replacement.
There are some cases where people require further corrective work to improve their vision after cataract lens surgery. The doctor may consider exchanging the IOL to a different type, an additional IOL implant or for limbal relaxing incisions as per the situation. Laser refractive surgery is also recommended in some situations.