Intraocular Lenses (IOLs) - The Latest in Lens Technology

Greenville-South-Carolina-LASIK-Cataracts-Eye-Care-iol.pngThe lens of your eye goes through many changes as you age. The two most notable changes are the loss of flexibility and a change in the chemical composition. When the lens of your eye loses flexibility, it is called Presbyopia. This change can begin to occur after the age of 40 and it reduces your ability to see close up with clarity.

The chemical composition change is referred to as cataracts which happen when the protein in the lens of your eye begins to bunch together. When light passes through this protein, you may notice a yellow haze or tint to images.

There is a solution to both of these conditions through the use of a synthetic lens called an Intraocular Lens (IOL). The synthetic lens works just like a natural lens, but you can eliminate both cataracts and Presbyopia from ever happening again. For patients who also suffer from refractive error (nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism) prior to surgery for IOLs, some surgeons can provide LASIK surgery in addition to the IOL surgery to correct these errors. Both procedures can provide good to excellent vision quality for patients and can reduce or eliminate the need for glasses.

Technological advances have produced a variety of IOLs, which also help to correct refractive error. These IOLs are: monofocal, multifocal, toric, and accommodating.

Monofocal IOLs

The most traditional IOL is a Monofocal IOL. Mono means one and focal means focus of the lens of an eye. This means that Monofocal IOLs will only provide vision for one distance. This distance, or power, for the lens is calculated prior to surgery and is usually selected to give you good distance vision. When monofocal IOLs are used, the patient will still require glasses for reading and near vision.

Multifocal IOLs

Multifocal IOLs are referred to as Advanced Technology IOLs IOLs or presbyopia-correcting IOLs because they are designed with multiple focusing properties. This means the lens can focus near, far, and in between, which can eliminate the need for reading glasses.

Toric IOLs

Toric IOLs are also considered Advanced Technology IOLs, as they were designed for people suffering from astigmatism. These IOLs are perfect for people suffering from cataracts and astigmatism if they do not wish to or are not a good candidate to have LASIK to correct the astigmatism.

Astigmatism is when a cornea has an oblong shape rather than a round shape. This causes light to focus on multiple points on the retina, which results in blurred vision. The Toric IOL is designed to off-set the shape of the cornea so that light focuses on the retina and vision is clear.

The Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery reported in March 2009 that Toric IOLs can correct astigmatism substantially better than other options, and that after three months, 70% of the patients in the study who received Toric IOLs achieved 20/40 vision or better.

Accommodating IOLs

Accommodating IOLs are Advanced Technology IOLs that are designed to work with the muscles of the eye to focus upon whatever distance is needed. These IOLs provide sharp vision for multiple distances.

Dr. Donelson will counsel each patient about their best IOL option according to lifestyle, medical and eye health history, and after performing a comprehensive consultation.

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