When you have cataracts, your sight can be significantly impaired. After enough vision is lost, it may be necessary to have surgery done in order to fix the problem. Luckily, cataract surgery is one of the safest operations performed in the world, and the results are predictable. All over the world, millions of people have gotten cataract surgery, and gotten their vision back.
The point of cataract surgery is not to remove the cataract itself, but rather to replace the entire lens of the eye with a synthetic lens. This lens is called an IOL (intraocular lens). IOLs are made of highly durable substances- either silicone or acrylic and they are very versatile. IOLs not only improve vision by removing cataracts, but they can also correct for nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism! By replacing the cloudy lens with an IOL, patients are able to see clearly and safely!
IOLs also come in a variety of “types”. They range from the standard monofocal lens that corrects vision at a single preset distance, to the more robust multifocal which can provide a range of focal lengths. As versatile as they are, it is important to select the correct IOL for your lifestyle. Here’s a run down of some of the ways you might benefit more from multifocal lenses compared to its limited monofocal counterpart.
1. Multifocal IOLs provide a greater range of focusing power.
Multifocal IOLs give the obvious advantage of being able to focus at multiple ranges. It is still possible to achieve multiple focusing ranges with monofocal lenses, but it requires a method known as monovision. With monovision, one eye is corrected for either far or nearsightedness, while the other is left at its normal focusing power. This allows you to switch back and forth between dominant eyes and have some degree of focusing power. However, some people may find this method disorienting and hard to get used to compared to multifocal IOLs, with no discernible drop in quality of vision.
2. Multifocal IOLs may eliminate your need for glasses altogether.
Imagine being able to remove your cataracts and the need to wear reading glasses in one fell swoop! According to studies, approximately 70% of patients end up not needing glasses after the surgery at all! This is compared to around 25% of patients who became glasses-free after receiving the monovision treatment. For many patients, multifocal IOLs are worth it just to be glasses-free!
3. Multifocal IOLs are better at seeing up close.
An accommodating IOL acts like your eye’s natural lens. It physically moves in your eye, “accommodating” for changes in visual depth. Accommodating IOLs also give patients a wide range of focusing power, but struggles at seeing up close unlike multifocal IOLs. If your lifestyle includes significant reading time, computer use, or anything that requires you to see fine print, consider multifocal IOLs!
Living with cataracts can be difficult, but the good news is that you don’t have to! Come see us and get on the road to healthier eyes and better vision.