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What is an intraocular lens?
An intraocular lens is an artificial lens, which is implanted into the eye to replace the eye’s natural lens that has lost the ability to focus light.
What are the different types of lenses used during cataract surgery?
There are many different types of lens implants available:
Monofocal Intraocular Lens
The traditional lens implant is a monofocal intraocular lens, which can only be used to correct a certain range of vision (usually the distance vision for driving). This type of lens does not provide correction for near sightedness or astigmatism. As a result, the patient will require glasses or contact lenses after the surgery for the best possible vision.
Trifocal or Extended Depth of Vision Intraocular Lens
The latest lens implants may correct different portions of your vision, which include:
- Intermediate (computer)
- Near (reading) vision
These implants may help to reduce the need of spectacles after cataract surgery, however they are not suitable for all individuals as these lenses cause comparatively more glare than the monofocal lens
Toric Intraocular Lens
Also, there are toric lens implants, which can be used to correct astigmatism and decrease the dependence of spectacles.
Your ophthalmologist will help you to choose the most suitable lens implant based on your needs and lifestyle.
It is essential to appreciate that spectacles may still be required to provide the sharpest focus in certain conditions despite the most suitable implants are chosen.
Which intraocular lenses should I choose?
In order to select the most appropriate intraocular lens for your eye, your ophthalmologist needs to make precise eye measurements of eye length, corneal curvature and the estimated position of the lens after surgery. These measurements are used to create lens that fit perfectly to your individual eye topography and provide the best power to help you see clearly.
Optical biometry, keratometry and pachymetry are techniques used to calculate eye length, corneal curvature, diameter and thickness, depth of the anterior chamber, and lens thickness. Ultrasound devices are also used for measuring eye length in case of dense cataracts, but unlike the optical biometry, ultrasound requires contact with the eye.
For more detailed analysis of corneal curvature, including the front and back surfaces, topography and tomography imaging systems create three-dimensional colour-coded maps of the cornea.
Based on the results of these tests and your lifestyle requirements, your ophthalmologist will recommend the most appropriate intraocular lens for you.