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Guide to the Types of Intraocular Lenses for Cataract Surgery

patient preparing for cataract surgery

Cataracts are one of the most common eye conditions among adults and seniors, and can significantly reduce your vision capabilities. Luckily, with the advancement of technology in cataract surgery and treatment, several solutions exist to substitute your natural eye lens while reducing your symptoms and enhancing your vision. But how does cataract surgery work?  What are the different types of replacement lenses available after cataract surgery and which one is right for you?  


What Happens During Cataract Surgery?

Since the most common symptom of cataracts is blurred vision caused by the clouding of the lens of the eye, cataract surgery aims to replace the natural lens with an artificial one to provide you with a better vision. These lenses are called intraocular lens (IOL), and they come in various shapes and forms to tackle different needs.


Why Do You Need an Intraocular Lens?

When it comes to cataract solutions, intraocular lenses can properly refract the light that enters the eye to help you see a more clear, accurate image. When the cloudy natural lens is removed during cataract surgery, it needs to be replaced with an artificial IOL to restore sight. Additionally, intraocular lenses can also help with other vision issues, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism, and presbyopia.


What Intraocular Lens Options Are Available?


Monofocal IOL

Monofocal lenses are designed to provide clear vision at one particular distance. They can be manufactured to help patients see close objects, far objects or middle-distance objects. They do not provide, however, clear vision for more than one distance at a time. In such cases, glasses can be used to compensate for the limitation.   

For example, if you are able to see clearly at distance without glasses, you will need reading glasses to focus at close distances e.g. reading and/or computer.  If the surgeon calculates your IOL to allow you to read without glasses, you will still need to wear glasses for distance e.g. driving and/or TV. 


Multifocal IOL

Multifocal lenses are incredibly versatile and provide enhanced vision at multiple distances, allowing you to see objects that are near, far or at intermediate distances from you. These lenses, however, don’t come without disadvantages. Patients may experience glare and halos around lights, which can be an issue for more sensitive people.


Extended Depth-of-focus IOL

These cataract lenses allow you to see objects that are both at intermediate and far distances from you. They are an excellent choice for those who need to drive or use computer screens, but don’t want to deal with the halo and glare effects that usually come with multifocal lenses.


Accommodative IOL

Accommodative lenses are able to adapt to meet your needs as you use them. This can be a great solution for those who need to see near and far objects. However, they can’t provide the same range you would get from multifocal lenses, meaning you would still need glasses to see objects at very close distances.


Toric IOL

In addition to helping you with nearsightedness and farsightedness, toric lenses can also correct for astigmatism, which is another condition that interferes with light refraction in your eyes. If apart from cataract you also suffer from astigmatism, toric lenses are an alternative to consider.


Choosing the Right IOL

It can be overwhelming to decide which is the best option for you when it comes time for cataract surgery.  In addition to talking to your surgeon about which options are suitable for you, your optometrist can help you better understand the advantages and limitations of the various options. 


Eye Exams in Edmonton

If you believe you may be suffering from cataracts and are looking for reliable diagnoses and advice, Optometrists’ Clinic Inc has got you covered. Our optometrists conduct a wide range of eye exams that can detect cataracts and other eye conditions. Don’t hesitate to give us a call and let us provide you with optimal eye care. Reach out to us in Edmonton, Leduc and Westlock


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