Cataract Surgery: Choosing the Right Lens for Your Needs

Cataracts are very common. Statistics indicate that approximately 90% of people have this condition by age 65. It wasn’t very long ago when the best solution for cataracts was to replace the clouded lens with an artificial, clear lens. This lens was clear but had no prescriptive qualities. Therefore, people who had cataract removal were forced to wear what were known as “coke-bottle glasses” for the rest of their lives. In the past 3 decades, cataract removal surgery has improved dramatically. Now, ophthalmologists have several lens options from which patients may choose. Lens selection is one of the most important aspects of cataract removal because it determines how much a person will rely on eyeglasses for daily tasks.

Questions for Lens Selection

A few questions can help you begin to navigate the choices you have for intraocular lenses after cataract removal. These include:

  • How important is it to minimize the need for eyeglasses?
  • What is more important, the performance of near tasks like reading or distance activities like driving? Glasses may be needed for one or the other.
  • How active do I want to be? This may dictate whether you want intraocular lenses for near or far tasks.

Options for Intraocular Lenses

Several new options for intraocular lenses have emerged over time. Common choices include:

  • Monofocal lenses. This is a versatile lens option that has a single refractive power. It is customized based on the measurements of each eye. Having a monofocal lens means that one eye will see distance and the other will see near. Often, people who choose monofocal lenses do not require eyeglasses after cataract removal.
  • Multifocal lenses. These lens implants divide the light that enters the eye to achieve both near and distance focal points. This means both eyes will adjust to near and far. Though the eyes may have a wider range of vision, some studies suggest that contrast sensitivity may decrease with multifocal lenses and glares may increase, especially at night.
  • Toric lenses. The toric lens was made to correct astigmatism. It works through varying refractive powers in different regions of the lens.

Cataract removal is one of the most common and successful eye procedures. To start exploring your options for restored vision, call (352) 237-8400 and schedule a visit to Central Florida Eye Institute.

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