Whenever you have cataract surgery, you receive an intraocular lens implant during the operation. There are a wide range of intraocular lenses, some of them simple and others that are sophisticated. Some compensate for cataracts while others eliminate astigmatisms entirely. Generally speaking, if your goal is to be less dependent on eyeglasses after an operation, the more you’ll have to consider when selecting a lens.
In our last post, we discussed the three main types of intraocular lenses that are out there on the market place. Today, we’re going to expand upon that and talk about some of the strengths and weaknesses of each – but more specifically – what you can expect from each lens after your procedure.
Let’s jump right in.
Basic Monofocal Implants
The most basic form of intraocular lens is the Monofocal implant – a fixed lens that’s designed to deliver improved vision at one distance. The potential drawback after surgery is that there’s a strong likelihood you will have to wear glasses, even if you didn’t before. In fact, over 90% of patients who’ve received these implants have had to wear glasses. On the other hand, not only are these sorts of lenses covered by almost all vision insurance packages, but there’s almost no period of adjustment required, meaning that you’ll have corrected vision almost instantly.
Astigmatism Correcting Implants
Astigmatism is a common condition that deteriorates a person’s vision. In most cases, the distortion comes from an irregularly shaped lens. While this issue doesn’t always require corrective lenses, many people do elect to have surgery – especially if the astigmatism is severe enough or if they’ve developed a cataract.
As such, Toric Lenses are usually the preferred method for correcting these issues. The Toric Lenses refocus the eye by correcting preexisting astigmatisms by using technology that has been used in contact lenses. In many cases, Toric Lenses can correct astigmatism entirely. Their success rates are also higher than other lenses, with well over 90% of patients reporting a ‘very significant improvement’ in their vision post-surgery.
Now as strong as they are, there are a few drawbacks and risks. For one, there still is the possibility that you’ll have to wear glasses in one form or another – but compared to others, it still is your best bet if you’re looking to ditch your glasses entirely. There aren’t many problems associated per say, but there is a slight chance that your lens can rotate out of place and will have to be nudged back into place by your surgeon. Granted, the possibility of this is less than 1 in 100, but like any invasive procedure, the risk does exist.
Multifocal Lens Implants
If you know what bifocals are, then consider these types of lenses to be the implant version of those. When they’re manufactured, they’re designed with very fine rings that divide the lens into multiple focus points so you can see well from a variety of distances. The great part about Multifocal Lens Implants is that they’re passive implants – meaning that you don’t have to expend muscular activity in order to see at different distances. From the moment you leave the operating room, you’ll have the ability to see both far and near.
While that’s all well and good, there is a compromise. There is a period of adjustment that goes on when you’re adjusting to the lenses. There’s a greater chance of having difficulty with halos and rings around lights and there are some issues with glare. While these issues are relatively few and far between, the risks do exist and are real. Over time however, these disturbances can be overcome and they become so used to them they don’t notice them.