A Definitive Guide to IOLs
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If you’re considering cataract surgery, you’ve probably stumbled across the term “IOL” a few times by now. Any cataract information you come across is bound to speak on the importance of choosing the right IOL, and how your post-surgery vision hinges on this decision. No pressure!
In reality, your cataract surgeon will be there to help you decide which IOL is right for you. With so many options available, it can be difficult to narrow it down on your own. So, what exactly is an IOL? And what role do they play in your cataract removal?
What is an IOL?
First thing’s first. “IOL” stands for intraocular lens. An intraocular lens is an artificial device meant to mimic your eye’s natural lens. When your eye’s natural lens is removed during cataract surgery, an IOL will be implanted in its place.
The IOL will work just like your natural lens, but can provide better refractive power. There is a different IOL meant to correct each refractive error. If you have astigmatism, there’s an IOL for that. If you have myopia, there’s an IOL for that too! This means that your post-cataract surgery vision may be better than your pre-cataract vision. Some patients say that after cataract surgery, their vision is better than it’s ever been!
IOLs are not only used for cataract surgery, however. They can be used during Refractive Lens Exchange as well. This surgery is often performed on people who are not good candidates for LASIK surgery, or as part of reading vision restoration. In both surgeries, the natural lens is removed and replaced by an IOL.
Different Types of IOL and Their Jobs
Now, for the specifics. The world of IOLs is diverse and it can be difficult to narrow it down to one that best fits your needs and lifestyle. Our cataract experts at Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Arizona will be able to sit down with you in person and make IOL suggestions. However, it is a good idea to get a handle on what’s what before going in for your consultation. Be sure to keep any IOL-related questions in mind during your cataract surgery consultation.
Monofocal IOLs are often referred to as “standard” IOLs. They are the most popular IOL used during cataract surgery because they are the lowest price. Monofocal lenses are available only in one distance – near, intermediate or far. For this reason, monofocal IOLs are most often recommended for people with cataracts in both eyes.
This way, your surgeon can implant one lens for distance vision and one for near vision. You eyes will work together to provide clear near and distance vision! While this improved vision greatly, many people still need to use glasses after
Also known as bifocal lenses, these lenses allow multiple focal points. No need to choose! Multifocal lenses are often chosen by those who are nearsighted or farsighted. Most people who choose multifocal lenses are able to live without eyeglasses, or extremely reduced dependency.
Toric IOLs correct astigmatism. Astigmatism is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea. Because this irregularity is unique to each eye, each toric IOL will be unique to each patient.
Toric IOLs work by placing different “powers” in different “meridians” of the lens. This basically means that the lens is designed to align with the refractive errors in your eye. Other IOLs are able to freely circle around in the eye without causing blurred vision because the refractive power is the same throughout the lens. With the toric IOL, the lens cannot move from its original place without causing blurred vision.
If you have experienced presbyopia, you know how frustrating it can be. Reaching for reading glasses every time you want to read your favorite book, a text message or a label at the store is no one’s idea of fun. There is currently one IOL on the market that can fix this problem – the Symfony IOL. Many patients say that they are less dependent on reading glasses after cataract surgery with the Symfony IOL.
Which is right for you?
Want to know which IOL is right for you? That’s what the professionals are for. Call Eye Physicians and Surgeons of Arizona in Glendale and Scottsdale, AZ today to schedule your cataract surgery consultation.