Intraocular lenses

Intraocular lenses (IOLs) replace your cataract, or cloudy lens. If you have certain eye diseases or problems which prevent safe placement of an IOL, you will need either contact lenses or cataract glasses in order to see clearly after surgery. I

OLs are the most popular choice for replacing lenses with cataracts. Unlike contact lenses, these lenses are implanted inside the eye and are meant to be permanent. They do not require replacement or cleaning.

The eye surgeon implants the IOL in about the same place as your natural lens, so that it results in the most natural vision.

IOLs are placed inside the eye.
IOLs are placed inside the eye.

IOLs are the best option to replace your own lenses. However if you have certain other eye diseases or problems, you may not be able to have lens implants. You and your eye doctor will need to discuss whether any restrictions apply.

In order to put in an IOL that exactly fits your eye, your eye doctor will measure the length of your eye before your surgery using a painless sound wave (ultrasound) test to determine what strength you will need for your IOL. Your eye surgeon will also check the health of your retina and cornea and give you an estimate of the level of vision you can expect after surgery.

The IOL may correct nearsightedness or farsightedness so that you may see well without glasses for distance vision. However, after standard IOL implantation, you will still need glasses to read clearly. Currently, there are special “multifocal” IOLs that enable you to see well not only for distance vision but also possibly for reading vision. You and your doctor will need to discuss whether this is an option for you.