Cataract surgery involves the replacement of the natural eye lens with an artificial one called an intraocular lens (IOL). And modern technological developments in lens technology have made it possible for eye doctors to address cataract as well as refractive errors at the same time.
In most cases, the best type of lens is chosen by the patient personally. But the doctor also guides the patient so that they can make an informed decision and choose the right type of lens for cataract surgery.
As there are several different types of intraocular lenses (IOLs) available, it will take time and research for you to decide which type is the best. The key is to learn as much as possible about these types of lenses and discuss everything with your doctor.
It is the most common type of lens used in cataract surgery. This type of lens is designed to correct vision at a particular distance. It means it can cure either hyperopia or myopia. If you have both these conditions, then the monofocal lens will address only one error and for the other, you may have to wear eyeglasses.
Most of the people undergoing cataract surgery choose to fix their nearby vision so that they can work on the computer and perform other activities like reading, knitting, etc. These lenses are also more affordable than other types of cataract lenses.
Many people wish to get rid of eyeglasses permanently. The multifocal lenses are the best choice for them. This technology has various zones of focus so that the person can see clearly at all distances. Hence, both hyperopia and myopia can be cured with the help of these lenses. The trifocal lenses also come under this type and provide intermediate vision. These lenses use a concentric ring design with alternating distance and near focal points.
The lens is customized according to your requirements and lifestyle. At first, your eyes may take time to focus vision when you switch from nearby objects to distant objects. But over time, your brain will learn to adjust the focus automatically.
While you are choosing the best lens, you should know that people who get multifocal lenses placed in their eyes often experience some side effects like glare and decreased contrast sensitivity.
When the patient wants to make sure that he/she won't need glasses after cataract surgery but doesn't want to choose the multifocal lens, that's when accommodative lenses are considered. These lenses can move or shift shapes similar to the natural eye lens smoothly and swiftly.
These lenses interact with the ciliary muscles and zonules of the eyes using hinges at both ends. The lens latches on and moves forward and backward inside the eye according to the movement of these muscles. It allows the eye to regain partial focusing ability that allows them to accommodate their focus from distance to near objects.
However, this type of lens can only provide limited improvements in near vision. Furthermore, people who choose this type of lens have a higher risk of developing posterior capsule opacification (PCO). The good thing is that the side effects and other complications of using an accommodative lens can be prevented by performing eye exercises that strengthen the muscles.
Toric lens is the best choice for people who have preexisting corneal astigmatism. These lenses work using the same principle as the accommodative lenses and correct specific refractive errors along with astigmatism.
A toric lens is designed in such a way that it can address both the cylindrical and spherical power of the eyes. The toric lenses are also available in monofocal and multifocal variants and have minimal side effects.
How to choose which type of lens is the best for you?
In the medical industry, there is no correct or best answer. The doctor always discusses the treatment options with the patient and then determines which one would be the most appropriate. The same is done while choosing the best type of lens for cataract treatment.
The doctor will discuss the following aspects to help you make the right choice:
● Lifestyle- The type of lifestyle you follow on a daily basis will determine what kind of lens will be the most useful for you. For instance, if you work on a computer for 10-12 hours a day, it will be better to choose a monofocal lens that corrects farsightedness or hyperopia. If your lifestyle requires clear distant vision, then it will be better to correct nearsightedness or myopia using a monofocal lens.
● Priorities- Some people prefer that they can see clearly at all distances while others are fine with having one type of refractive error fixed and using eyeglasses to correct the other. It is a personal choice that may be affected due to other underlying factors such as cost, comfort, etc.
● Pre-existing Condition- People who have only one type of refractive error can simply opt for monofocal lenses. But if you have hyperopia and myopia, then multifocal or accommodative lenses will be a better option. If you also have astigmatism with myopia and hyperopia, then toric lenses would be the best choice.
● Cost- It is a major factor that impacts the decision significantly. Most people choose a lens that is less expensive. But due to this, people often end up choosing lenses that don't address all the eye problems. The lens that can resolve both cataracts and all kinds of refractive errors will be expensive but their cost won't be covered by insurance companies as well.
If you are also in a dilemma regarding which type of lens would be best in your case, then get help from an expert eye doctor or cataract surgeon at Pristyn care. They will help you compare all the options and pinpoint the pros and cons of each type of lens so that you can go with the best choice that will provide long-term benefits.
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