Cataract Surgery: How to Choose an IOL
Getting cataract surgery can be an overwhelming experience. From choosing an experienced eye surgeon to making all of the appointments necessary, there’s a lot of decisions to make. One of the most important decisions you will make, however, is which kind of IOL you will use. To help with this decision here is some helpful information on all of the different types of IOLs and how they stack against one another.
What is an IOL?
Before getting into the different kinds of IOLs, it’s important to understand exactly how an IOL functions. An “intraocular lens” is essentially a contact lens that is permanently inserted into your eye to replace the natural lens, though it looks quite a bit different. The reason this is necessary is that your natural lens is completely removed during the surgery. One of the greatest benefits of receiving an IOL besides the removal of the cataract is that they can actually enhance your vision to a better state than they were at before! The different types of IOLs are:
- Monofocal IOLs
This is the most basic IOL choice. These IOLs have the power to focus at one range only. Like to read a lot? Get some close range monofocal IOLs. Do a lot of driving? Get some distance monofocal IOLs. Whichever one you decide on, you will need to incorporate glasses into your life to accommodate the other range. Or you could try monovision. In this method, one eye is left with its normal focusing power, and the other eye is corrected for the opposite. This allows you to “switch” between dominant eyes and giving you decent vision at multiple ranges at the cost of some depth perception.
- Multifocal IOLs
As the name implies, these IOLs have more ranges than their monofocal counterparts. This means you may not need glasses at all after the surgery! However, even if you don’t have cataracts in both eyes, you will need to have them implanted in both as they will have to work with each other to be effective.
- Accommodating IOLs
These IOLs actually work very similarly to your natural lens. They physically move and adjust as your normal eye would, allowing for a much smoother visual experience as opposed to multifocal IOLs. The downside is some minimal loss of acuity for close range vision.
- Toric IOLs
The previously mentioned IOLs are not available to people that suffer from astigmatism. Toric IOLs are the solution. They can help reduce astigmatism or even eliminate the need for glasses in some people.
Choosing an IOL is important, but so is choosing a surgeon you can trust. Dr. James PInke has a wealth of experience and knowledge and can address your concerns in his Shelton, CT clinic. Schedule your cataract evaluation today!