What Kind of IOL is Best For Me?
Are you considering cataract surgery? If so, you have an important decision to make: the type of lens you will receive.
Not everyone selects the same lens for their cataract surgery. There are several different options to choose from, depending on your visual goals.
Keep reading to find out what kind of IOL may be best for you!
What Is a Cataract?
The only way to restore vision affected by cataracts is to remove your eye’s natural lens, where the cataract is through cataract surgery. A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens of your eye.
After light enters through your cornea, the lens allows it to focus on the retina so that your brain can create clear images. When the lens is cloudy, these images can become blurry.
Cataracts result from proteins in your eye breaking down and aggregating. They are a common eye condition associated with aging, especially for those over the age of forty.
In addition to blurry vision, you may experience difficulty seeing glare and halos at night, among other symptoms.
What Is an IOL?
During cataract surgery, the natural lens, where the clouding occurs, is carefully removed from the eye. Then, your cataract surgeon will replace it with a clear artificial lens, what is known as an intraocular lens, or IOL.
Most lenses are made of silicone or acrylic material. The procedure is straightforward and performed on an outpatient basis, meaning you can return home afterward.
This synthetic lens mimic’s the eye’s ability to refract light as needed. Since the implant is clear, you will no longer experience the symptoms of the cataract.
Modern IOLs have made treating a cataract easier and more convenient than ever. Before the development of the IOL, people had no choice but to wear thick glasses to see.
An IOL is a permanent implantation in your eye. There is no upkeep or maintenance needed, and patients cannot feel or see them.
What Types of IOLs Are Available?
All IOLs are designed to replace the natural lens of your eye. However, the type of lens you choose can affect your vision in many ways.
There are two main categories of IOLs: standard and premium IOLs.
A monofocal IOL is considered a standard lens. It allows you to see clearly at a single distance, whether far, arm’s length, or reading distance.
For example, if you choose to have your vision focused for far distances, you will likely no longer need glasses or contacts to read signs on the road. However, you will likely still need glasses in order to read.
A multifocal IOL is a premium IOL that can focus on more than one distance. Some components of the lens allow you to see clearly at a distance, while others work to provide clear vision at a reading distance.
With a multifocal or premium IOL, you can significantly reduce your dependency on visual aids compared to a standard IOL. Another premium lens option is an extended focus lens.
Extended focus lenses provide clear vision whether you are looking near, far, or anywhere in between. In addition, there is a smooth, continuous transition between ranges.
Many patients with an extended focus lens are also able to significantly reduce their dependence on contact lenses and glasses after cataract surgery. When you have astigmatism, the shape of your cornea is irregular. This can make your vision blurry at any distance.
Astigmatism correction can be integrated into any of the three general types of lenses through the use of a toric IOL. Your eye doctor will let you know if they believe that a toric IOL will best accomplish your vision goals.
Which IOL Is Best for Me?
You don’t have to worry about choosing the right IOL on your own. Our expert ophthalmologists are here to help you achieve the best possible results.
Prior to your consultation, it is helpful to know which types of lenses may be able to provide the outcome you are hoping for. If you would only like to correct your vision for a single distance and don’t mind occasionally wearing reading glasses, a monofocal lens may be all you need.
If you want to significantly reduce your dependence on visual aids, consider opting for a monofocal or extended focus lens. Some patients with extended focus or monofocal lenses are even able to give up their glasses or contacts completely.
While this is not important for everyone, it can make a massive difference for some individuals. When you choose a monofocal or extended focus lens, you are not only getting rid of your cataract.
You are dramatically improving your vision, and you will likely notice an improvement in your vision very quickly. During your consultation, your eye doctor will evaluate your visual needs and go over your options with you in more detail.
Are you considering cataract surgery and interested in discussing your IOL options? Schedule a consultation at Complete EyeCare West in Columbus, OH, today!