What are the different intraocular lens implant (IOL) options?
In years past, there was little choice as to what IOL to use in cataract surgery. Older IOL models are referred to as “monofocal IOLs” and focus vision at a single distance; if a patient chooses a monofocal IOL to correct for far distance vision, reading glasses are required after surgery to focus up close. Recent technological advances have resulted in “Premium IOLs” that have advantages over monofocal IOLs. Premium IOLs include multifocal and extended-depth-of-focus (EDOF), which help focus vision for both far distance and up close, resulting in less dependence on glasses after cataract surgery. Toric IOLs help correct astigmatism, again resulting in less dependence on glasses after cataract surgery. During your eye exam, our doctors can let you know if you are a candidate for one of these exciting Premium IOLs.
What is presbyopia?
As we age into our 40s and beyond, the eye starts to lose its ability to focus. This is when most people start to require reading glasses or bifocals. This natural loss of focusing ability is called presbyopia. Multifocal and EDOF (extended depth of focus) IOLs are designed to overcome the problems of presbyopia.
Can presbyopia be corrected?
Multifocal IOLs are designed with numerous optical zone rings that focus images from different distances (near and far) at the same time; the vision center in the brain chooses which image the eye is focusing on.
The ReSTOR, Tecnis multifocal, and Tecnis Symfony IOLs result in improved near (reading), intermediate (computer), and distance vision. The majority of patients can function throughout the day without glasses. These IOLs do not yield perfect vision at every distance, so some patients will require occasional use of glasses for certain activities, such as, for example, reading small print or driving at night. Due to the multiple ring design of these IOLs, one side effect of the lens is haloes or starbursts around lights, such as around headlights at night. For this reason, we typically do not recommend these IOLs for pilots or people who drive at night for a living.
To see how you can benefit from one of these amazing IOLs, ask our doctors if you are a candidate for presbyopic correction, and whether a ReSTOR, Tecnis multifocal, or Tecnis Symfony lens is appropriate for you.