Multifocal Intraocular Lenses

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This week’s blog on Multifocal Intraocular Lenses has been contributed by Dr Hamed Mofeez Anwar, Consultant Corneal and Refractive Surgeon.

Traditionally, the aim of cataract surgery has been to give patients the quality of vision to ensure a normal lifestyle including distance vision activities such as driving and watching movies. For clear near vision after cataract surgery, patients would often still require glasses for reading.

These days, candidates for cataract surgery have a wide range of options including multifocal IOLs (Intraocular Lenses) that offer patients total vision correction.

If you need cataract surgery and would like to have more freedom from spectacles after surgery then multifocal intraocular lenses are an excellent option to increase your range of clear vision. In fact, many people who choose multifocal intraocular lenses are generally glasses-free or may only need reading glasses occasionally for reading small print, after cataract surgery.

Who are the best candidates for multifocal IOLs?

If you’re considering having a multifocal IOL implant, it’s important to understand that they also have their limitations.

If you are in a job that needs you to have the best possible distance vision at all times, or excellent night vision – for example if you are a pilot or someone who does a lot of night driving – then you probably are not a good candidate for multifocal IOL implants and regular monofocal (single-focus) lenses would be a better choice and provide very good distance vision. This would mean that you would need reading glasses to see well, up close.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you have an associated visual condition other than a cataract (such as diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or age related macular degeneration), you would be more satisfied with the results using regular monofocal IOLs. This is because multifocal IOLs need good visual capability in both eyes for optimal results.

Other considerations

To get the best visual results with multifocal IOLs, the exact placement of the lens in the eye is very important.

So, a cataract surgeon may also recommend a laser cataract surgery procedure using a femtosecond laser to help ensure accurate positioning of the multifocal IOL and get the best possible results from the lens.