Older man on bicycle

Cataracts affect millions of Americans, causing cloudy, blurred vision. The only treatment is cataract surgery to remove the lens of the eye, where the cataract is.

During this outpatient procedure, your cataract surgeon will implant an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) where your natural lens used to be. This restores clear vision, allowing you to function without visually debilitating cataracts.

Choosing the right IOL is one of the most important decisions in your cataract surgery preparation. With so many types of IOLs available today offering different benefits, how do you decide what’s best for your eyes and vision needs? 

Keep reading to learn how to choose an IOL for your cataract surgery in Henderson!

IOL with pen cap for scale

What is an IOL?

Short for intraocular lens, an IOL is a synthetic replacement for your natural lens. It is developed to allow you to see after cataract surgery and may even help you achieve better vision. 

IOLs are made with acrylic or silicone material. This material is long-lasting and can safely remain in your eyes for the rest of your life. 

What Happens During Cataract Surgery?

Cataract surgery begins with some topical anesthetic and light sedation. This makes the procedure virtually pain-free and keeps you calm. 

Once your eye is numb, your cataract surgeon opens your eye through the cornea with a precision laser. They create a small opening in the cornea, which is the clear round part at the front of your eye.

Close up of older woman's eye in profile

With the cornea open, the cataract surgeon is now able to access your lens. They carefully place a small instrument through the pupil into your eye. 

This device is able to emit high-frequency sounds. The sound waves vibrate and break apart the natural lens without disrupting the other parts of the eye. 

The pieces are gently removed to make room for the new IOL. The IOL is then inserted into the same membrane that held your natural lens. 

Your cataract surgeon can easily unfold it in your eye. After a few adjustments, your IOL will be in place, and the procedure is complete. 

The small opening in the surface of your cornea will heal naturally during your recovery. The cornea reattaches to itself very quickly, and no stitches are needed.

Once your cataract surgery is complete, you will begin recovery immediately.       

How Do I Chose an IOL?

Before your cataract surgery, you will need to decide on an IOL. There are a few different options to choose from. 

You and your cataract surgeon will work together to find the best IOL for you. Here are some questions your eye doctor may have you consider when deciding on an IOL:

What is Your Budget?

If you are concerned about spending too much on your cataract surgery, you may want to choose a standard IOL. These IOLs are monofocal, which means they can only focus at one distance. 

If you choose a monofocal IOL, you will need to wear glasses after cataract surgery for certain activities.

What Kind of Lifestyle do You Have?

Standard monofocal IOLs may work for some people who spend most of their time indoors. However, more active lifestyles will benefit from premium IOLs. 

Premium IOLs will allow you to have greater visual freedom than standard monofocal IOLs. They can deliver quality vision at multiple ranges. 

Older couple on park bench

This is particularly useful for people who like sports, hiking, swimming, or other active interests. 

Do You Want to Have Greater Vision Freedom?

Multifocal or premium IOLs can allow you to experience greater visual freedom with less dependence on visual aids. Since these IOLs can allow you to experience reduced dependency on glasses or contact lenses, premium IOLs may be a better option for those who want to rely less on visual aids.

Do You Have Astigmatism?

If you have astigmatism, you may wonder whether your new IOL can correct this vision problem that causes distorted, blurry vision. Most standard premium IOLs, including multifocal and accommodating lenses, do not correct astigmatism on their own. 

However, a special category known as toric IOLs is specifically designed and fitted to reduce astigmatism during cataract surgery. Toric IOLs incorporate precise optical measurements and lens calculations to counteract your degree of corneal curvature and irregularity that leads to astigmatism. 

They work by adding the opposite, counterbalancing effect to cancel out your distortion.

What are my IOL Options at Hayden Vision?

During your cataract screening at Hayden Vision, your cataract surgeon will discuss your IOL options. They will help you determine which option may be best for you based on your vision goals, budget, and lifestyle.

Are you ready to learn which IOL may be best for you? Schedule a cataract evaluation at Hayden Vision in Henderson, KY, today!