IOL Implants: All About Lens Replacement After Cataracts

An intraocular lens, or IOL for short, is a small artificial lens designed to replace the eye’s natural lens that’s removed during cataract surgery. In other words, cataract surgery removes one or both cloudy lenses and adds a clear IOL implant to improve vision, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Just like contact lenses or eyeglasses, IOL implants are available in various focusing powers. To find out which power you will need, your ophthalmologist will take measurements of the length of your eye as well as the curve of your cornea.

Types of IOL Implants

Most IOLs are comprised of silicone, acrylic, or some other type of plastic composition, featuring a coating of a special material that helps protect your eyes from the UV rays of the sun. Here’s a look at the different types.

Monofocal IOLs

This is the most common type used with cataract surgery, with one focusing distance that can be set for up-close, medium range, or distance vision. Most people get clear distance vision lenses, and wear eyeglasses for reading or computer work. Other types of IOLs have different focusing powers contained within the same lens, and they are known as multifocal and accommodative lenses. With these, you don’t have to rely on glasses as much because they offer you clear vision for more than just one set distance.

Multifocal IOLs

With these IOLs, you get both distance and near focus all at the same time, with different zones set at different powers within the lens.

Extended depth-of-focus IOLs: EDOF lenses sharpen both near and far vision, but they only have one corrective zone to cover both distances. This will reduce the effort needed to re-focus between distances.
Accommodative IOLs: These lenses move or change shape inside the eye, allowing the person to focus at varying distances.
Toric IOLs: These are for those who have astigmatism, which is a refractive error caused by an uneven curve in the lens or cornea. Toric IOLs correct that error.
Light-adjustable lenses (LALs): These are a bit different from the rest because your ophthalmologist will fine-tune their corrective power after lens replacement surgery. This is achieved through UV light treatment procedures, which will be spaced out over several days to customize your lens prescription and bring you close to your desired visual outcome. You will still need glasses for reading or driving because LALs are a type of monofocal lens.
Phakic lenses: These are implanted in younger individuals in an effort to preserve the natural human lens. Designed for correcting near-sightedness in people who don’t qualify for laser refractive surgery, phakic lenses preserve the natural ability to focus and accommodate. Your ophthalmologist will have to remove those lenses when you eventually have cataract surgery.

A Further Look at IOLs

Just like eye glasses or contacts, IOL implants are designed to correct vision issues such as:

Nearsightedness (Myopia)
Farsightedness (hyperopia)
Age-related farsightedness (presbyopia)
Altered eye shape (astigmatism)

IOL implants are permanent and will stay in your eyes for the rest of your life. You could benefit from IOL implants as part of cataract surgery if:

You have cataracts in one or both eyes that prevent you from seeing clearly. Everyone who goes through cataract surgery needs to have an IOL implant to restore vision.
You have refractive errors that impact your vision, yet you are not a candidate for vision correction surgeries such as LASIK.

Book Your Cataract Surgery Consultation With Broberg Eye Care

The type of IOL implant you need will be determined by your ophthalmologist after a thorough exam. Please schedule an appointment online or call us at (512) 447-6096. Our hours are Monday through Friday, with a convenient location at 4207 James Casey St #305 in Austin, TX.

The post IOL Implants: All About Lens Replacement After Cataracts appeared first on Broberg Eye Care.