Has your eye doctor recommended cataract surgery? Before surgery, you’ll need to pick an intraocular lens, also known as an IOL, to replace your cloudy lens. 

There are various choices, and it’s essential to understand all of your IOL options. Learning about each option will ensure you select an IOL that best suits your lifestyle and vision goals.

Keep reading to learn more about what an IOL is and whether or not you can choose a different IOL to have in each eye!

What is an IOL?

An IOL is an artificial lens placed inside your eye. It permanently replaces the focusing power of your natural, cloudy lens, which is removed during cataract surgery. 

An IOL helps focus light onto the retina, which allows you to see clearly. IOLs come in various types, such as monofocal, multifocal, and toric lenses, each catering to different visual needs.

Your eye doctor at Joshi Eye Institute will guide you through this decision-making process, considering your individual needs and helping you achieve the best possible visual outcome after cataract surgery.

Can You Have Two Different IOLs?

If you have cataracts in both eyes and want to reduce your dependence on visual aids post-cataract surgery, your ophthalmologist may recommend blending IOLs. Mixing and matching different IOLs can be a great option for qualified patients.

It can enhance the outcome of cataract surgery by increasing your range of vision. Your eye doctor may suggest different combinations, including monovision.

Monovision involves combining two monofocal lens implants with different focal points. With monovision, one IOL provides clear, far-away vision in one eye while the other lens implant offers sharp near vision in the other eye.

Your cataract surgeon will implant the IOL set for far distances in your dominant eye and implant the IOL set for up-close vision in the non-dominant eye. If you’re a monovision candidate, your ophthalmologist will test and determine which of your eyes is dominant.

It might sound odd to implant two lenses with different focusing powers in your eyes. Your brain learns to use both eyes more effectively to deliver clear, blended vision at multiple distances.

This helps decrease your dependence on contacts or glasses for most activities following cataract surgery.

Who is a Good Candidate for Monovision?

Monovision cataract surgery can considerably reduce the need for glasses or contacts. But the procedure doesn’t work for everyone. 

You may be a good candidate for monovision if you:

  • Have presbyopia, which is age-related farsightedness
  • Want more freedom from glasses or contact lenses after cataract surgery
  • Have successfully used monovision contact lenses before
  • Would like to live an active lifestyle following your cataract procedure

You may not be a suitable candidate for monovision if you:

  • Have a history of stroke that has impacted your vision
  • You have other eye conditions like advanced glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration, or diabetic retinopathy
  • Have a history of double vision or eye muscle surgery

Which Kinds of IOLs are Available?

Intraocular lenses are an excellent way to improve your vision after cataract surgery. In addition to monofocal IOLs, patients have other lens options, including:

Multifocal IOLs

If you want to gain greater visual freedom after cataract surgery, you may want to consider a multifocal IOL. As the name suggests, a multifocal IOL has multiple focal points that allow you to see at all distances. 

It can enable you to read a book, see clearly in the distance, and use a computer without glasses or contact lenses. However, you may still need glasses sometimes for reading small print.

Toric IOLs

If you select an IOL that comes in a toric model, you can address astigmatism. Toric IOLs are specially designed to correct astigmatism as well as farsightedness or nearsightedness at the time of cataract surgery. 

Astigmatism is the irregular curvature of the cornea. With astigmatism, your vision is distorted or blurry at all distances. 

A toric lens implant has a unique shape that compensates for the uneven curvature of a cornea that causes astigmatism.

Accommodating IOL

Your eyes work similarly to how a camera works – a process called accommodation, which allows objects to come into focus. As you grow older, this autofocusing ability tends to decline. 

An accommodating IOL can restore your eye’s ability to autofocus. The IOL is designed to mimic your eye’s natural accommodation process with the help of legs called haptics.

These haptics use the muscle movement in your eye to change focus from distance to near. By choosing an accommodating IOL, you can significantly reduce or even eliminate the need for glasses or contacts after cataract surgery.

What Kind of IOL is Right for Me?

There’s no one-size-fits-all IOL for every patient. You’ll find that someone who spends a lot of time in front of their computer may need a different IOL than a person who leads a very active lifestyle. 

So, when deciding which IOL is right for you, the first thing to consider is your vision goals and lifestyle. Are you an avid golfer? Is reading one of your favorite hobbies? Do you drive often? 

The next important step is to discuss your options with your ophthalmologist. Having a discussion with your cataract surgeon will ensure you choose an IOL that best meets your specific needs.

Your eye doctor might even suggest combining two different types of intraocular lenses so you can achieve the best possible vision post-cataract surgery. 

Find the Best IOL for You

Joshi Retina Institute, a leader in cataract surgery, offers the most advanced IOLs and techniques to restore clear, crisp vision and enhance the lives of its cataract patients.

Do you have cataracts? Schedule your cataract screening at Joshi Eye Institute in Boynton Beach, FL, today to find out if it’s time for cataract surgery!