What are intraocular lenses?
An intraocular lens (or IOL) is a tiny, artificial lens for the eye. It replaces the eye’s natural lens that is taken out during cataract surgery.
The lens bends (refracts) light rays that go into the eye, helping you to see. Your lens should be clear. But if you have a cataract, your lens has become foggy. Things look blurry, hazy or not as colorful when you have a cataract. Cataract surgery removes this foggy lens and switches it with a clear IOL to improve your vision.
IOLs come in different focusing powers, you could compare it to prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. Your ophthalmologist will measure the size of your eye and the curve of your cornea. These measurements are used to set your IOLs focusing power.
Types of IOLs
The most frequent type of lens used with cataract surgery is called a monofocal IOL. It has one focusing distance. It is set to focus for up close, middle-range or distance vision. Most people have them set for clear the farthest vision. Then they wear glasses for reading text or close work.
What are IOLs made of?
Most IOLs are made of silicone or acrylic.
They are also covered with a specific material to help protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays.
Some IOLs have different focusing powers within the same lens. These are called multifocal and accommodative lenses. These IOLs reduce your dependence on glasses by giving you clear vision for more than one set distance.
- Multifocal IOL: Provides both distance and near focus at the same time. The lens has different zones set at various powers. It is designed so that your brain learns to select the right focus instantly.
- Accommodative IOL: Lens moves or warps shape inside your eye, allowing focusing at different distances.
For people with astigmatism, there is an IOL called a tori< lens. Astigmatism is a refractive error caused by an irregular curve in your cornea or lens. The toric lens is designed to correct refractive error.
When your cataract surgery is nearing, speak to your ophthalmologist about your vision needs and expectations. He or she will explain IOL options for you in more detail.
An intraocular lens (IOL) is transparent, artificial lens for the eye. It fixes your eye’s cloudy natural lens when you have cataract surgery. There are different kinds of IOLs. A monofocal IOL is normally set for clear distance vision, with eyeglasses needed for reading or close work. Multifocal and accommodative IOLs provide perfect vision at more than one distance. Toric IOLs correct the refractive errors that come with astigmatism. Your ophthalmologist will discuss IOLs with you.