What are the different types of intraocular lenses implanted after cataract surgery?
As the natural lens plays a vital role in focusing light for clear vision, artificial-lens implantation at the time of cataract surgery is necessary to yield the best visual results. Because the implant is placed in or near the original position of the removed natural lens, vision can be restored, and peripheral vision, depth perception, and image size should not be affected. Artificial lenses are intended to remain permanently in place, require no maintenance or handling, and are neither felt by the patient nor noticed by others.
There are a variety of intraocular lens styles available for implantation, including monofocal, toric, and multifocal intraocular lenses.
- Monofocal lens: These lenses are the most commonly implanted lenses today. They have equal power in all regions of the lens and can provide high-quality vision at a single focal point (usually at distance). They usually require only a light pair of spectacles for optimal distance vision correction. However, monofocal lenses do not correct astigmatism, an irregular oblong corneal shape that can distort vision at all distances, and require corrective lenses for all near tasks, such as reading or writing.
- Toric lens: Toric lenses have more power in one specific region in the lens (similar to spectacles with astigmatism correction in them) to correct astigmatism, which can further improve unaided distance vision for many individuals. Due to the difference in lens power in different areas, the correction of astigmatism with a toric lens requires that the lens be positioned in a very specific configuration. While toric lenses can improve distance vision and astigmatism, they still require corrective lenses for all near tasks, such as reading or writing.
- Multifocal lens: Multifocal intraocular lenses have a variety of regions with different power within the lens that allows individuals to see at a variety of distances, including distance, intermediate, and near. While promising, multifocal lenses are not for everyone. They can cause significantly more glare than monofocal or toric lenses. Further, multifocal lenses cannot correct astigmatism, and some patients require additional surgery such as LASIK to correct astigmatism and maximize their unaided vision.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/27/2014
Must Read Articles Related to Cataracts
Anatomy of the Eye
Even though the eye is small, only about 1 inch in diameter, it serves a very important function -- the sense of sight. Vision is by far the most used of the fi...learn more >>
Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of death and illness among Americans. Effects of smoking can cause cancers, emphysema, bronchitis, COPD, chronic cou...learn more >>
Contact lenses are miraculous pieces of plastic that allow you to see without glasses. In most cases, contact lenses are used as a substitute for glasses, allow...learn more >>
Patient Comments & Reviews
The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Cataracts: