Cataract Lens Options

Today, patients have a wide variety of surgical options, giving them the ability to not only regain their vision but in some cases eliminate the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses after the surgery. During your consultation, your surgeon will discuss all cataract lens options and help guide you in choosing the best option to fit your lifestyle and budget.

What Is an Intraocular Lens (IOL) and How Does It Help my Vision?

An IOL is a permanent replacement for your natural lens. It is made of plastic, acrylic, or silicone and is implanted in the empty capsule of your eye during cataract surgery. It functions the same way your natural lens does, focusing light on the retina at the back of the eye. The IOL requires no care and becomes a permanent part of your eye; you will be unaware of its presence. Nearly all cataract patients today choose an IOL as part of their procedure, and most modern IOLs will block ultraviolet light like a good pair of sunglasses. 

Is There a One-Size-Fits-All IOL?

There are different types of IOLs, depending on your visual needs and lifestyle. Our ability to see can be broken into three main zones: near distance, intermediate, and far distance. Some IOLs can correct for only one of these distances while other IOLs can correct for multiple. At NYEE, we offer patients standard IOLs and premium IOLs that not only correct for different visual zones, but can also permanently correct astigmatism. Some of the latest lens technology also provides a higher level of lens customization, resulting in superior visual outcomes that are tailor-made to your prescription.

Standard IOL

The monofocal lens is designed to correct vision at one distance only; near, intermediate or far. Because this is a single focus lens patients will still need eyeglasses or bifocals after the surgery in order to see at all distances.

Multifocal IOLs

Patients who want to reduce dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses may benefit from multifocal IOLs. These implants are similar to progressive glasses with different focusing strengths built into the lens, allowing the eye to focus at multiple distances and minimizing the need for glasses after cataract surgery. Each and every IOL has its own advantages and disadvantages, which will be discussed in detail with your surgeon.  For example, some IOLs can cause light scatter at night, which is usually less pronounced with time.

Extended Depth of Field IOLs (EDOF)

An extended depth of field lens is a type of multi-focal lens that enables clear distance and intermediate vision. For most patients, this advanced lens technology will require minimal use of reading glasses for small print and has a lower incidence of nighttime light streaking.

Toric IOLs

Astigmatism-correcting lenses, or toric lenses, can permanently correct astigmatism at the time of cataract surgery with a combination of the femtosecond laser and/or a premium toric lens implant. The toric lens implant corrects the irregularity in the curvature of the cornea. The implant is also available in multifocal toric lenses, which correct for near and far distances and astigmatism. Patients with astigmatism can achieve good distance vision with significantly less dependence on glasses. Your cataract surgeon will help you determine which type of IOL meets your visual and lifestyle needs.

Light Adjustable Lens (LAL)

LALs offer patients a higher level of customization and superior visual outcomes tailored to the individual patient’s needs. Since the LAL is made from special photosensitive material that changes the power of the implanted lens in response to ultraviolet (UV) light, patients have the flexibility to fine tune the lens power even after the initial surgery. The ability to have the vision adjusted to your precise prescription brings a new level of accuracy that other lenses don't offer.

Pinhole Intraocular Lens

The pinhole intraocular lens is designed to give you the advantage of clearer focused vision across all three zones: near, intermediate, and far. So whether you are reading a book, working on your computer, or driving, you will experience clear vision, without blurry zones. The pinhole IOL is implanted in just one eye. The design of the lens creates a greater depth of focus, providing patients with good distance and near vision. It is paired with a monofocal or monofocal toric (astigmatism-correcting) lens in the other eye—calibrated for intermediate vision. The human brain is able to process the different visual signals from each eye into a single picture. Patients with a low amount of astigmatism will especially benefit from this type of lens implant.