After a cataract (the cloudy natural lens of the eye) is removed during surgery, it is replaced with a clear artificial intraocular lens (IOL) implant. These IOLs focus light onto the retina of the eye, which sends visual information to your brain through the optic nerve.
Like glasses or contact lenses, IOLs have a prescription in them. With the prescription implanted into your eye, this can decrease or eliminate your need for glasses. Patients may only need glasses for near activities or reading after cataract surgery.
In addition to being nearsighted (myopic) or farsighted (hyperopic), many people have astigmatism, in which the curvature of the eye is not the same in all directions. Rather than being perfectly spherical and round, the surface can be curved like a football. Astigmatism can cause blurring of your vision and is most commonly corrected with a glasses or contact lens prescription. Specialized astigmatism-correcting IOLs, called Toric IOLs, can now correct your astigmatism at the same time as your cataract surgery. If you have a cataract and astigmatism, these IOLs may be a great option for you to improve your vision and reduce or eliminate your need for glasses.
Most patients undergoing cataract surgery also suffer from presbyopia, which is a progressive loss in the ability to focus at near, caused by the natural process of aging. New multifocal IOLs have been designed to treat presbyopia and can reduce your need for glasses to see things up close. They work by splitting light into multiple foci, to help you focus at both distance and near.
Every patient and eye is unique. Dr. Sarafzadeh approaches every cataract surgery with a personalized touch and will work with you to determine which IOL is best for you and your lifestyle.