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Intraocular Lens - The Different Types And Things To Consider.

Usually after a cataract surgery, your doctor may recommend intraocular lens (IOL) implant to replace your natural lens 

Intraocular Lens

They are placed in the removed natural lens position.

IOL acts like your natural lens. Its sole purpose is to refract light coming into your eyes to land your retina.

There are several types of intraocular lens today, this article targets to help you understand their functions and differences.

Monofocal Lens

The most common type of implant lens.

  • Equal power in all regions of the lens.
  • Sharpest focus at only one vision distance. Primarily for distance vision  (nearsightedness).
  • Most people who choose monofocals have their IOLs set for distance vision and use reading glasses for near activities.
  • Some people choose to use the monovision strategy, a strategy in which the wearer have one IOL set for distance vision and another for near vision. In attempt to see, the brain adapts and synthesizes the information from both eyes to provide vision at intermediate distances. Often this reduces the need for reading glasses but for those who require crisp, detailed vision may decide monovision is not for them.

Multifocal or Accommodative Lens

A newer technology which is still under testing and improvement

  • In this type of IOL, series of focal zones are built into the lens. The different focal zones allows wearers to see a variety of distance - either near, intermediate or far.
  • The design allows certain eye muscles to move the IOL forward and backward, changing the focus much as it would with a natural lens, allowing near and distance vision.
  • For many people, this type of IOL does not eliminate the need of glasses. IOL is currently unable to ensure perfect vision
  • Costs more than a monofocal lens.
  • It is considered a “premium” lens which means that most healthcare plans do not cover any extra associated surgery nor the lens cost. This type of lens is considered a luxury not a medical necessity.
  • Not for everyone as they create significantly more glares or halos around lights than other types of intraocular lens, especially in dim light. Those who frequently drive at night or do a lot of close-up work may be more satisfied with monofocal IOLs.

Toric Lens

This is a monofocal IOL with astigmatism correction built into the lens.

Toric Lens
  • Like multifocal lens, they are considered "premium" lens and cost more than monofocal lens.
  • The lens is designed with more focal power in specific regions to correct astigmatism and provide best possible distance vision. In order for the astigmatism correction to function properly, the lens has to be positioned in a very precise manner so that light will fall accurately on the powered regions.
  • It is important to note that toric lens only correct astigmatism and distance vision. Users still need glasses for close-up work such as reading and doing computer work.

Important Things To Note

  • If you had done refractive surgery such as LASIK before, it is important to inform your eye doctor about it so that they can perform a more thorough evaluation before getting the implants. Previous refractive surgery may affect calculating IOL prescription correctly.
  • Some people may need further correction to achieve their desired eyesight. Their ophthalmologist may recommend changing the IOL implanted or implanting an additional intraocular lens.

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