Intraocular lenses (IOL) are implantable lenses that are inserted into the eye during cataract surgery. These lenses are made of plastic or silicone materials and placed permanently in the eye after removal of the eye’s natural lens. Intraocular lenses may be either monofocal or multifocal. Monofocal lenses have a single zone of clear focus, usually set for excellent distance vision, but require the use of reading glasses for near tasks, like reading or sewing. Multifocal lenses have several zones of clear vision and allow for both distance and near vision correction.
Basically stated, a Multifocal IOL is a unique lens that provides patients with quality vision including near, far, and intermediate distances. Many patients who have had this lens implant option do not need to rely on their glasses or bifocals after cataract surgery.
Multifocal IOL’s reduce the likelihood that you will be required to wear glasses or contacts after surgery. Multifocal lenses incorporate both distance and near powered lenses into one lens. The lower power zones bend the light coming from distant objects to a single focal point on the retina. The higher power zones bend light from near objects to the same focal point on the retina. Thus, different zones of lens power work together to provide the eye with near and distance vision.
Life after cataract surgery used to always require glasses since lenses only gave patients good distance vision. Now, new options for better vision after cataract surgery have been created. As we age our eyes lose their ability to change focus and adjust from viewing something far away, like driving, to something up close, like reading a newspaper. This ability to focus on is called accommodation.
We are so fortunate now that advances in IOL implants have given cataract surgery patients more options after surgery! There are many different brands and choices of Multifocal lenses out there, and here, at Slade & Baker Vision Center, your surgeon will determine along with you, which lens implant is best suited for YOUR vision and your visual goals!
Is a Multifocal lens right for me?
If you are a cataract patient who will have to rely on reading glasses or bifocals after your cataract surgery you may be a candidate for a Multifocal IOL. It is important that you speak with Dr. Slade, Dr. Walton, or Dr. Baker to determine your vision expectations after cataract surgery. Although insurance generally covers monofocal lens implants, it does not cover multifocal lenses.