Are there options for my IOL (Intraocular Lens)?
Yes! Today there are multiple types of IOLs, each delivering a different performance profile based on how the lens is designed. Here are the basics about the four main types of IOLs:
Standard monofocal IOLs
A monofocal IOL or standard lens is a fixed lens (it doesn’t move) that is designed to deliver improved vision at just one distance (usually far). The potential drawback is that after surgery, you still may need glasses for distance and will likely need to wear glasses for near vision.
A multifocal lens uses multiple visual zones that are built into the lens itself to provide vision at various distances. It’s almost like the rings of a target, with some rings being dedicated to distance vision, while others are used for near vision, similar to having a bifocal or trifocal lens inside the eye. In clinical studies, most recipients of multifocal IOLs report they don’t need to wear glasses for the vast majority of their activities, and many report being comfortably glasses-free at all time. Not everyone is an ideal candidate for this type of intraocular lens. It is important to discuss the pros and cons of this lens with your physician. Examples of IOLs utilizing this technology are the Restor multifocal lens and Tecnis multifocal lens.
As the name implies, an accommodating lens “flexes” or “accommodates” to focus on subjects at various distances, delivering a continuous range of vision – near, intermediate and far. Crystalens® is the one and only FDA-approved accommodating lens available in the United States.
A Toric IOL is designed specifically for the correction of astigmatism, in addition to correcting pre-existing nearsightedness or farsightedness. Prior to the development of toric lenses, after cataract surgery, people still had to wear glasses to correct astigmatism, or undergo a second surgery to correct this optical imperfection. The toric IOL creates optimal clarity at the desired range (distance, near or intermediate) without glasses. Lower levels of astigmatism may be able to be corrected with Laser Refractive Cataract Surgery (Lensx laser) Again, a discussion with your doctor will help you choose which option will suit you best.