“Should I get multifocal Intraocular lenses for my cataracts?” Many patients ask us this question before cataract surgery. While the decision to get cataract surgery in Houston can be easy, the patient often also has to make custom choices about their vision correction.
For some, choosing which intraocular lenses they would like is a crucial part of cataract surgery. The different options may seem a little overwhelming at first, so it’s important to learn about cataract surgery, intraocular lenses, and why multifocal lenses for cataracts might be the right choice for you.
Understanding cataracts & cataract surgery
In order to understand the purpose of multifocal and intraocular lenses, you’ll need to understand cataracts and corrective cataract surgery. Cataracts are a natural part of the eye’s aging process and occur when the clear lenses of your eyes begin to cloud. This clouding can be exacerbated by some natural phenomena, such as prolonged sun exposure to the eyes.
There are steps you can take to avoid cataracts. (Check them out here: How to Avoid Cataracts.) Nevertheless, by the age of 65 nearly 90% of people will have developed a cataract at some point.
Eventually, cataracts can lead to diminished vision and can impair your ability to perform many daily tasks. However, if a cataract evaluation shows that you’re a good candidate for cataract surgery, you may be able to clear and correct your vision.
Cataract surgery is a minimally invasive procedure where tiny incisions are made in your eye to remove the cataract. It is a common, safe, and stable procedure. Many eye surgeons report successfully performing cataract surgery on patients in their 70s, 80s, and even 90s in some cases.
Understanding intraocular lenses & cataract surgery
The intraocular lens is an important part of cataract surgery. When a cataract is removed from the patient’s eye, a replacement lens needs to be inserted so the patient’s vision will be clear and focused.
This replacement lens is known as an intraocular lens. Patients will have choices as to what kind of intraocular lens is used: monofocal intraocular lenses or multifocal intraocular lenses.
What is the difference between monofocal lenses and multifocal intraocular lenses? Below, we cover what monofocal and multifocal lenses are, and how the two are different.
Monofocal lenses for cataracts
Monofocal intraocular lenses are typically a common choice for cataract surgery. However, these lenses focus on just one distance, as opposed to multifocal lenses. Monofocal intraocular lenses require you to choose whether you want to see far, intermediate, or near distances. You will also be able to choose whether you want both to see different distances in each eye.
With monofocal intraocular lenses, patients will experience clear and corrected vision within their distance of choice. That said, it may be difficult for the eyes to adjust from daily vision needs with differing distances, such as reading a book, working in the backyard, or driving a car.
Multifocal intraocular lenses for cataracts
Unlike monofocal intraocular lenses, multifocal intraocular lenses allow you to see a range of distances. Instead of choosing just one distance, you can both read a book and see a sign on the road. Multifocal lenses for cataracts can have other benefits, including both cataract and astigmatism correction.
What is the best lens replacement for cataract surgery?
The best answer to that question is: it depends on your vision needs. It’s best to consult with your doctor to find which type of lenses best suit your needs.
However, one thing that your doctor will probably consider if you elect monofocal lenses is that, if you wore glasses before the surgery, then you will likely need to wear glasses afterwards as well.
The corrective lenses in your glasses will help you see the distance you did not elect for when choosing monofocal lenses. So, if you chose a far distance, then you will need reading glasses; if you chose a near or intermediate distance, then you will need distance glasses.
On the other hand, multifocal lenses for cataracts are meant to provide vision correction for multiple distances, and for that reason you can possibly reduce your dependence on glasses after cataract surgery. There are different kinds of multifocal lenses to choose from.
Toric multifocal lenses and ReSTOR multifocal lenses for cataracts
If you have astigmatism, Eye Center of Texas can provide you with what is called a AcrySof IQ Toric lens. This unique, donut shape lens provides different refractive powers that corrects an astigmatism.
Toric lenses have been shown to be more effective than other astigmatism correction techniques and is chosen because it can take care of two problems at once: cataracts and astigmatism.
Another kind of multifocal lense, the AcrySof IQ ReSTOR lens, is the most advanced multifocal intraocular lens we provide at Eye Center of Texas. This multifocal intraocular lens features patented apodized diffractive technology, which allows you to see all distances with the best clarity.
Another benefit of ReSTOR lenses is that they provide excellent distance vision in low light situations, such as nighttime driving. Patients have also reported a much lower incident rate of halos around light in low light situations.
Finally, ReSTOR lenses treat Presbyopia, a natural condition that leads to worsened vision. At Eye Center of Texas, 4 out of 5 patients have reported complete freedom from glasses or other corrective means when they elect for ReSTOR lenses.
Am I a candidate for multifocal intraocular lenses?
Choosing between different lenses may seem daunting at first. Eye Center of Texas is here to help you decide which lenses will be the best for your vision.
The team at Eye Center of Texas is trusted by over 275 Houston area doctors and has performed thousands of successful eye procedures. Start your vision correction today by scheduling an appointment to see if multifocal intraocular lenses are the right fit for you.