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Intraocular Lenses for Cataract Surgery: How IOLs Work
An intraocular lens, or IOL, is a device used in cataract surgery to replace the natural lens of the eye.
IOLs focus light into the eye, allowing it to be projected appropriately onto the retina. The retina then
relays these images through the optic nerve to the brain, which interprets the light as the images we
see every day! IOLs are similar to prescription eyeglasses, in that they will fit the natural prescription
your eye needs to see images clearly. The eye doctors at Ophthalmology Associates of Greater Annapolis
will work with you to determine what style of IOL best fits your vision care needs and daily activities.
Which IOL option is right for your cataract procedure?
Our team of eye specialists will work with you to help determine what IOL prescription will best fit your needs and lifestyle, and help to educate you on the different types of IOLs that are available to those having their cataracts removed. The type of IOL selected for your procedure will impact whether you need to wear glasses for near vision or reading after the cataract procedure has been completed, and will impact vision when not using visual aids after cataract surgery.
Intraocular lens (IOL) Types
A monofocal lens is an intraocular lens that focuses vision on a single distance. Patients are able to choose between near, intermediate, and far distances. It is common for those moving forward with cataract surgery to select their monofocal lenses to be set for distance vision, using reading glasses for near activities. Alternatively, if they are set to correct near vision, an individual would need glasses to properly see objects at a distance.
Monovision is a strategy some patients use where one IOL is set for distance vision in one eye, while the other is set for near vision. The brain then adapts to this style of interpreting vision and adjusts to provide intermediate vision. This can reduce the need for reading glasses. Those who require sharp vision may find that this strategy is not for them.
Multifocal IOLs are intraocular lenses that reduce the need for glasses or other corrective lenses following cataract surgery. Because they incorporate both distance and near vision power into one lens, they work together to provide the eye with a full spectrum of sharp vision. Multifocal IOLs work because they have carved 'steps' positioned to bend incoming like differently, each focusing light on the retina in different ways to provide clear vision.
Accommodative lenses mimic the natural function of the eye through the use of a hinge design - this design enables the lens to move within the eye in a similar manner to a natural lens, resulting in clear vision at multiple distances.
In many cases, accommodative and multifocal lenses are able to reduce dependence on glasses, but may not entirely eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. There are some side effects that may occur with these lens types, such as glare and halos, or decreased sharpness of vision, particularly in dim lighting.
Toric IOL for Astigmatism
Astigmatism is a condition that distorts the ability of the eye to see both near and distant objects, due to the curvature of the eye. Those with astigmatism frequently experience the best results from cataract surgery with the Toric IOL. which helps to correct astigmatism during the cataract procedure.
For more information on intraocular lens options for cataract surgery available at Ophthalmology Associates of Greater Annapolis. request a cataract consultation at our Arnold office! Our cataract specialists will help to educate you and answer any questions regarding the best IOL options for your lifestyle needs.
Source: American Academy of Ophthalmology, www.geteyesmart.com