What Happens in Cataract Surgery / Lens Extraction?
When the natural lens becomes cloudy with time, this is called a cataract. During cataract surgery, the natural lens is removed and replaced with a clear plastic lens.
This new lens is monofocal and is best able to focus light on the retina from one distance. Spectacles are then required to see clearly at other distances.
Usually, patients like to see clearly in the distance and use spectacles for intermediate (computers, painting, sheet music) and near (reading) work. However, there are some exceptions.
If you are considering cataract surgery or refractive lens exchange, but don’t want to rely on glasses to read afterwards, you should consider the choosing a ‘premium’ lens to reduce your reliance on glasses for reading and other ‘near vision’ activities. Such lens implants include multifocal and accommodating lenses.
What are multifocal intraocular lenses?
Multifocal Intraocular Lenses (mIOL’s) employ new technology that mimics the ability of the eye’s natural lens to adjust its shape and so focus light. They create focal points for light coming from far, intermediate and near objects.
It is not usual to implant a different type of IOL in each eye. The eyes most commonly receive the same kind of lens, although we treat each case individually, and we will advise you with your best interests in mind.
Depending on your unique requirements, the same mIOL may be used for both eyes, or we may suggest a “mix-and-match” approach to mIOL implantation.
Multifocal intraocular lenses for astigmatism
If you have astigmatism, we must correct this visual error before or after we implant the multifocal lenses. There are several ways of doing this.
With trifocal, toric form lenses, we can correct your astigmatism in addition to giving you good distance and reading vision. This is all done in one operation and avoids multiple surgeries with higher expenses.
The lens is adorned with lines that mark the axis of astigmatism correction. This allows us to place the lens in exactly the correct orientation in the eye that allows you to enjoy full visual potential at both far and near without glasses.
Is spectacle independence guaranteed if I receive a multifocal IOL?
Medical treatment does not generally carry a guarantee. However, the likelihood that you will need glasses for near work are greatly reduced with a multifocal IOL compared to a standard lens. The vast majority of patients can see well at all distances without using glasses. However, some people may need to wear spectacles for some tasks, such as using a computer, reading for prolonged periods or driving at night.
Is mIOL suitable for everyone?
No medical intervention is suitable for everyone. The overall health of your eyes, your visual requirements, expectations for postoperative vision, and other factors will inform the decision regarding suitability.
Astigmatism may need to be corrected before mIOL implantation, depending on the examination findings.