What Lenses are Available for Cataract Surgery?
Sometimes the amount of choices with cataract surgery can be overwhelming. It is best to discuss these options with your surgeon. However, a brief description of what lenses are available may be helpful prior to your screening exam for cataract surgery.
Most intraocular lenses are made of silicone or acrylic and are designed to last for the rest of your life. The most common lens option is called a Monofocal lens. This means that based on measurements of your eye, the lens power will allow clear focus at one distance. Most patients prefer to be focused for clearer vision for distance vision and plan to use reading glasses after surgery. However, this can be reversed where clearest vision is at near and correction is needed for distance. Monofocal lenses can also be used to provide “monovision”. This refers to one eye receiving an implant that is focused for distance and the other for near vision. This may allow patients to perform most tasks without correction. Generally, a simulated trial with contact lenses is recommended prior to surgery for monovision to ensure that you can tolerate the asymmetry. The second category of lenses are called Multifocal or Accomodative lenses. These lenses are designed to allow for some amount of focus at all distances. They fall in a category of “specialty” or “premium” lenses and are generally not paid for by insurance companies. The last category is called Toric lenses. These lenses can be monofocal or multifocal in their focus but have an additional design that helps to correct astigmatism. Not all patients are candidates for each type of lens, so lens selection should be carefully discussed with your eye physician.
Please see the American Academy of Ophthalmology website for further information: