What Are the Pros and Cons of Choosing a Monofocal IOL?

Cataract surgery is one of the most common and successful procedures done today. A key decision in cataract surgery is choosing which type of artificial intraocular lens, also known as IOL, to implant in your eye during the procedure.

One option is a monofocal IOL. Keep reading to learn more about monofocal IOLs, including the pros and cons of this option!

What is a Monofocal IOL?

A monofocal intraocular lens is a type of artificial lens implant used in cataract surgery. Monofocal IOLs only focus at one distance, unlike multifocal IOLs, which can focus at varying distances.

What Are the Pros of a Monofocal IOL?

There are several advantages to choosing a monofocal IOL. First, they provide crisp, clear vision at one set focal point, either near or distance, depending on the lens’s power. 

The visual clarity is excellent for that set focal range. Second, monofocal lenses tend to have less bothersome visual side effects like glare, halos, and difficulty with night driving compared to multifocal IOLs.

Third, monofocal IOLs are typically the lower-cost option compared to premium IOLs like multifocals or toric lenses that correct astigmatism.

What Are the Cons of a Monofocal IOL?

There are a few potential disadvantages to monofocal IOLs that should be considered. First, unlike the natural lens and some multifocal lenses, a monofocal IOL does not allow focusing ability at varying distances.

This means reading glasses will be required for near-vision tasks. Second, monofocal lenses do not correct existing astigmatism like toric IOLs can, so some people will still need glasses after cataract surgery if they have residual astigmatism.

Finally, if you choose a monofocal IOL, you must choose between prioritizing distance or near vision when selecting the monofocal power. If set for distance, reading glasses will be needed for near tasks, and vice versa if set for distance focus.

So, there is a trade-off in focus ability with monofocal IOLs.

When is a Monofocal IOL a Good Choice?

A monofocal IOL can be an excellent option for patients who prioritize single-focus vision or want a lower-cost surgery. It is also a good choice for people who do not expect to need glasses-free vision or have adapted to reading glasses already.

When Should You Consider a Multifocal IOL?

The best way to know which IOL may be best for you is to discuss your options with your cataract surgeon. They will help you decide which lens best matches your vision goals, budget, and lifestyle.

Those who desire some range of vision without glasses or do not wish to use reading glasses may want to look at multifocal or accommodating IOLs. Those with significant astigmatism are better candidates for toric IOLs to correct their vision. 

If you prioritize a broad depth of focus, you may want to consider an extended depth of focus IOL.

How Do You Choose Between Distance and Near Vision with a Monofocal IOL?

Your eye doctor will help determine the best lens power based on your individual visual needs and lifestyle. Those who depend on distance vision for driving or other needs are better suited to a distance monofocal IOL. 

Near monofocals can maximize close vision without significantly compromising mid-range sight. The best fit for each person will depend on their lifestyle, activities, and vision preferences.

Do you want to learn more about which IOL may be best for you? Schedule an appointment at Mid Ohio Eye in Columbus, OH, today!