There are several types of premium intraocular lenses, each with its own unique capabilities. The type of IOL that is used will have no effect on the surgical procedure and is chosen based on each patient’s unique needs.
Traditional IOLs are monofocal, meaning that they allow you to see at one distance: either far, intermediate, or near. They relieve you of the cloudy, blurry, discolored, or light sensitive vision caused by cataracts. However, you will most likely need glasses or contact lenses to experience a full range of vision.
Advances in IOL technology have produced modern multifocal IOLs. These are lenses that allow your eyes to focus on close, intermediate, or far away objects. Multifocal IOLs are especially beneficial for patients over the age of 40 because they can treat presbyopia, farsightedness, or difficulty focusing due to degraded ocular tissue. Some patients may still need visual aids like glasses or contact lenses with multifocal IOLs, but many do not. While multifocal lenses are typically more expensive, they are an investment in accurate vision for years to come.
Most patients with cataracts are good candidates for multifocal IOLs. However, there are other factors to consider when deciding which IOL is right for you.
You may not be a good candidate for multifocal IOLs if:
- You suffer from astigmatism. Patients with this condition will likely opt for toric IOLs instead since they can correct your eye shape.
- You have naturally excellent vision, except for obstructive cataracts. While it seems counterintuitive, patients who have good vision or only mild myopia (nearsightedness) often do not accustom to multifocal IOLs well. IOLs usually cannot provide the same level of clarity and precision as naturally good vision. If you are used to outstanding vision at all distances, any minor disruptions or distortions from the lens may bother you.
- You have been diagnosed with other ocular conditions, like diabetic retinopathy, which could impair your vision in other ways. This would undo the benefits of the multifocal lens.
Toric IOLs are artificial lenses crafted to counteract the irregular shape in your lens that creates astigmatism. While naturally astigmatic lenses are typically shaped like an oval, the artificial lens has a more spherical design to focus light accurately onto the retina, the part of your eye that sends impulses to the optic nerve. Once he removes your damaged lens and places the toric IOL within your eye, your ocular surgeon will rotate the lens so that it sits in the proper position. This procedure typically requires just local anesthesia in the form of numbing eye drops. The clear material of the toric IOL will repair your cataracts, refract light at an appropriate angle, and offer ultraviolet light protection to maintain your general eye health.
Patients who are undergoing cataract surgery may be good candidates for toric IOLs. Cataract symptoms include increasingly blurry, hazy, discolored, distorted, or light sensitive vision. Our ophthalmologists use a variety of tests to screen for cataracts.
In addition to being diagnosed with cataracts, you may be a good candidate for toric IOLs if you:
- Have astigmatism, meaning that your corneas or lenses are abnormally shaped, causing your vision to blur or become hazy at various distances. Many patients have mild astigmatism and do not realize it because it does not cause any symptoms. If astigmatism does not disrupt your vision, toric IOLs may not be the right choice for you.
- Have realistic expectations for the results of this procedure. While toric IOLs can improve your eyesight, you may still need to use visual aids like glasses or contact lenses.
- Do not suffer from other ocular conditions like retinal disease or corneal ectasia, as these could interfere with the effectiveness of the lens.
- Are in good overall health, meaning that you are not suffering from uncontrolled diabetes, an infection, or an immune deficiency at the time of your surgery. These conditions can prevent your eyes from recovering well from cataract removal and IOL placement.
Your ophthalmologist can determine if you are eligible for toric IOLs at your initial consultation. We also offer monofocal and multifocal IOLs to suit your needs and desired results.