Understanding Your IOL Options after Cataract Surgery

Smiling senior man with eyeglasses relaxing in armchair Cataracts occur when the natural lens of your eye develops clumps of protein that cloud vision. There is no cure for cataracts, but cataract surgery can help restore optimal vision. When you choose to have cataract surgery is entirely up to you. We suggest that patients have their clouded lenses removed before vision impairment affects their quality of living. Choosing to have cataract removal surgery means restored vision and, in some cases, corrected vision. Post-treatment visual clarity is influenced by the type of intraocular lens you choose. Here, we discuss a few specialty options.

What Are Intraocular Lenses?

To restore clear vision, it is necessary to remove the natural lens that has become clogged with protein clumps. The eye’s lens is responsible for focusing light as it passes through the eye. Without the lens, clear vision would be impossible to achieve. The intraocular lens, called an IOL, is a replacement that is inserted into the place of the natural lens. Depending on the patient’s visual clarity before surgery, they may benefit from a premium IOL. For example, a premium lens may be suggested if the patient has nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Examples of premium lenses are Toric and Multifocal IOLs.

What Are Toric Lens Implants?

Toric intraocular lenses are used to correct astigmatism. This is an ocular condition that involves an abnormal curvature of the cornea or the lens of the eye. The eye globe, eyeball, is spherical. It’s like a basketball. To have astigmatism means that the eye is shaped more like a football. This shape alters light as it moves through the eye, resulting in distorted or blurred vision. When the eye itself is not spherical, a normal spherical intraocular lens will not fit appropriately. Toric lenses are a good choice in this instance because these lenses are soft and mold to the shape of the eye to offset the refractive error.

What Are Multifocal Lenses?

Multifocal lenses may be suggested for people with nearsightedness or farsightedness. These IOLs are designed to facilitate better near, intermediate, and distance vision all at once. Historically, cataract removal has been able to correct nearsightedness or farsightedness, but not both using a single type of IOL. Whichever error still existed would need to be corrected with eyeglasses. Multifocal lenses provide better vision across all distances by serving as a “built in” bifocal lens. In just a short time after the insertion of the multifocal lens, the brain learns to interpret the field of vision based on the activity being performed.

At Shenandoah LASIK & Cataract Center, patients receive the utmost care from a board-certified ophthalmologist with years of experience diagnosing and treating cataracts. If your vision is starting to cloud or blur, learn more about the reasons this may be happening. Schedule your consultation with Dr. Stefano or Dr. Bert at 540-722-6200.


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