Intraocular Lenses (iOL)

An intraocular lens, or IOL, is the artificial replacement lens implanted when a patient’s natural lens has been surgically removed during cataract surgery. A wide variety of replacement lenses are available to cataract patients, each offering its own advantages for post-surgery vision. The most effective lens to use depends on the patient’s preferences and particular vision goals. Goals for vision differ according to individual occupations and lifestyles. IOLs often eliminate the need for glasses or contacts after cataract surgery, conveniently providing most patients with clear vision.

Multifocal Intraocular Lenses

Multifocal intraocular lenses are designed to correct vision at varying distances. They are appealing to individuals who would prefer not to require eyeglasses or contact lenses after surgery, or to require corrective lenses only for certain activities.

Tecnis® Multifocal IOL

The Tecnis Multifocal IOL can also be used for those patients with or without presbyopia who want to have near, intermediate and distance vision without relying on glasses or contact lenses.

Designed to provide cataract surgery patients with a high-quality vision similar to that of a younger person, the Tecnis IOL improves functional vision, the ability to see objects in varying light conditions, especially at night, at twilight, and in rain, snow or fog. It provides improved night vision and a reduction of spherical aberrations (scattering of light), a common side effect of cataract surgery.

Unlike other multifocal IOLs, the Tecnis Multifocal IOL provides the following benefits:

  • Excellent vision at all distances
  • Excellent vision at all light levels
  • Approximately 90 percent of patients using Tecnis Multifocal IOLs do not require reading glasses.

Each type of multifocal IOL has its advantages. The ophthalmologist, in consultation with the patient, will decide which IOL is appropriate in each individual case.

Accommodative Intraocular Lenses

Accommodation is the ability to shift focus between near and distant objects, providing sharper vision at multiple distances in order to minimize the use of glasses. Other IOLs are unable to accommodate and patients may require additional vision correction with glasses or contact lenses.

The most commonly used accommodative intraocular lens is the Crystalens IOLs, the only FDA-approved presbyopia correcting intraocular lens. The Crystalens IOL is made with flexible silicone that has hinges on each side, allowing it to move with the eye muscle, flexing and accommodating seamlessly so the patient can focus on surrounding objects at any distance.

Toric IOLs for Astigmatism

Up until now, patients with astigmatism did not have the same opportunities as other cataract patients to have their vision corrected with available IOLs. Typically, astigmatic patients would require additional surgical procedures, such as LASIK, to correct their vision after cataract surgery. If the patient did not want to undergo another surgical procedure, the only option for correction would be the use of either contact lenses or glasses to address their astigmatism.

Toric IOLs are specially designed to correct for astigmatism when implanted during cataract surgery, offering complete vision correction as a result of one surgical procedure.

Additional Resources

  • MedlinePlus
  • National Institutes of Health
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
  • Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development
  • U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
  • U.S. National Library of Medicine
  • WebMD

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Eye Consultants of Kentucky
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