Types of Intra Ocular Lens (IOLs)
Up until recently, choosing the type of Lens Implant to correct your vision after cataract surgery was left entirely to the cataract surgeon. Today, there are many types of Intraocular Lens Implants (IOL) that your surgeon can use in order to provide you with the best results to match your lifestyle.
This type of lens provides clear vision at one set focal length, usually distance. This provides excellent vision when driving to read road signs or when going to a ballgame, however you will probably need glasses for reading or other close-up activities
Monovision allows you to see up close with one eye while seeing clearly at a distance with the other eye. The part of the brain related to vision tends to filter out the image from the eye that is not in clear focus. If you choose monovision you eventually do not pay attention to the eye that is not as clearly focused. Many people who wear monovision contact lenses like this arrangement. It allows them good vision both near and distance without the hassles of corrective lenses. However, monovision is not for everyone and does take some time to adjust. Also, monovision does not correct vision as sharply as having both eyes corrected to the same focus. Monovision is best suited for people who have a strong preference not to wear corrective lenses such as reading glasses.
When a patient has significant astigmatism, a single vision IOL will not give clear vision at any distance. Patients with astigmatism have corneas that are not round, but rather oblong like a football. Toric IOLs have a unique design that offsets the imbalance of the corneal astigmatism. In this way they can significantly improve distance (or near) vision in these patients who otherwise would need glasses after surgery.
Multifocal / Accomodative Lens Implants
Presbyopia is a condition that most people over the age of 40 experience which results in difficulty seeing up close without the aid of bifocals, trifocals or reading glasses. Advanced Technology Intraocular lens implants, also referred to as Multifocal or Accommodative IOLs, are designed to provide a full range of vision offering the possibility of seeing well at more than one distance and with less dependence on glasses after cataract surgery. For the vast majority of patients having a multifocal lens implant means that you will be able to see at distance and up close without being dependent on eyeglasses. So patients choosing to have a presbyopia correcting multifocal lens implant will likely find that they can drive, watch television, read or do crafts-without the need for glasses
Each of these lenses use a slightly different design to help you achieve your goal of clear vision and each have advantages and disadvantages. Which one is best for you depends on the unique characteristics of your eye as well as your lifestyle needs.