A lens implant or intraocular lens (IOL) is an implanted synthetic lens that replaces the eye’s natural lens. Due to the amazing advancements in IOL technology, a patient can achieve excellent vision quality from a lens implant. Depending on the type selected, an IOL can also correct the eye’s existing refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism).
Monofocal IOLs are the ‘standard’ or conventional type of IOL. By definition, a monofocal IOL provides good vision correction for one distance only. The power of the lens is pre-calculated for each individual, generally for far vision. However, some patients, with their doctor’s recommendation, may choose to correct for near vision. If corrected for far vision, glasses for reading will still be needed, and patients with astigmatism may still require glasses to sharpen their distance vision.
Toric IOLs are specifically designed to correct astigmatism. The shape of the lens offsets the imbalance created by the irregular shape of the cornea, similar to technology used in contact lenses. These lenses allow a higher quality of vision and more freedom from glasses in patients with astigmatism.
Multifocal IOLs provide vision correction at all distances. Multifocal IOLs are more costly and generally not fully covered by insurance, but they are frequently preferred over monofocal IOLs because they can markedly reduce the need for glasses.
Accommodating intraocular lenses are premium intraocular lenses used in cataract surgery that are engineered with a hinge design to allow the optic, the part of lens that you see through, to move back and forth as your focus on an image changes. The accommodative intraocular lens is permanently implanted during cataract surgery and functions in a similar fashion as the natural lens. Once the surgery has been completed, your eyes can typically focus on far and near objects comfortably without discomfort.