What is the best lens for cataract surgery?

Do you lead an active life but feel that cataracts are getting in the way?

You’re not alone.

According to a population-based study, the number of Australians with cataracts will rise to 2.7 million in 2021. Half a million of these people will opt to have cataract surgery.1Rochtchina E, Mukesh BN, Wang JJ, McCarty CA, Taylor HR, Mitchell P. Projected prevalence of age-related cataract and cataract surgery in Australia for the years 2001 and 2021: pooled data from two population-based surveys. Clin Exp Ophthalmol. 2003 Jun;31(3):233-6. doi: 10.1046/j.1442-9071.2003.00635.x. PMID: 12786774.

But how can you ensure that your vision will be able to keep up with your lifestyle once you’ve had your cataracts removed? This boils down to choosing the right lens.

If you’re wondering how to choose a lens for cataract surgery, you’re in the right place.

Advancements in ophthalmic surgery and lens technology have made it possible to have your cataract removed and replaced with a lens that will improve your vision.

But, before deciding which lens you want, consider your daily activities, hobbies, routine and the type of vision you need for these. Once you’ve established this, you’ll find it easier to talk with your ophthalmologist to find the right lens for your active lifestyle.

Let’s dive in…

How to choose a lens for cataract surgery

Before describing the different lenses for cataract surgery, let’s clarify what a lens is. If you have cataracts, the natural lens in your eye is cloudy; things will appear hazy or blurry, alongside possible other symptoms.

Your surgeon will remove this blurry lens during surgery and replace it with a clear lens inside your eye. This lens sharpens the light particles when they move through your eyes.

The type of lens you choose will depend on your lifestyle:

What are monofocal lenses?

This is the most typical kind of lens used, and it will let you see clearly but only at one distance.

This type of standard lens will give you greater clarity and allow you to resume your life with unclouded vision. You may, however, still need to wear reading glasses.

What are multifocal lenses?

This type of lens gives your eyes a close and mid-range/distance focus. It splits the light in each eye. You can only have multifocal lenses if both eyes require treatment and you don’t have any other eye conditions or diseases.

You may experience glare at night in some instances, so we don’t recommend nighttime driving with multifocal iols (intraocular lenses). You may still need to wear glasses for specific tasks.

What are toric lenses?

This type of lens is similar to the monofocal lens in that it is made for one specific distance. They are especially suited if you have regular astigmatism. The Toric lens can correct this and near or farsightedness.

What are monovision lenses?

Not everyone likes the idea of multifocal lenses. These people may opt for a monovision lens. A surgeon will place a monovision lens for near sight in one eye and a monovision lens for distance sight in the other eye.

Your brain will adapt to combine information from both your eyes to give you clearer vision.

To reduce your dependence on glasses for all tasks, talk to your ophthalmologist about laser cataract surgery. With this procedure, we apply a laser eye surgery enhancement to your eyes after cataract surgery. You’ll no longer need glasses for a range of distances – including reading, and in dimly lit conditions or driving at night.

Restoring your vision with cataract surgery

Cataract surgery can be a life-changing experience. The procedure is quick and pain-free.2Healio.com. 2021. Consider patient perception of pain when planning cataract procedures. [online] Available at: <https://www.healio.com/news/ophthalmology/20171102/consider-patient-perception-of-pain-when-planning-cataract-procedures#:~:text=Cataract%20surgery%20is%20thought%20to,take%20precautions%20to%20limit%20pain.> [Accessed 21 June 2021].

Now you know how to choose the best lens for cataract surgery, book an initial consultation to improve your quality of life.

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About Brisbane’s Eye Specialist

A specialist ophthalmic micro surgeon, internationally trained retinal surgeon, medical retinal diseases specialist and cataract surgeon

Dr Matthew Russell, MBChB, FRANZCO

Brisbane Eye Surgeon

With a career that spans over 15 years, I have mastered the ability to achieve results that help patients regain their confidence and youthful energy.

When it comes to restoring the eye’s function, there is a world of choice available that most people miss. It is my responsibility as a specialist ophthalmic surgeon, to help you avoid the agonising anxiety and regret that comes with not knowing all your options.

I believe your lifestyle should dictate your vision, not the other way around. It’s my personal goal to align your vision with your lifestyle so that you can conquer life’s challenges and remain the version of yourself you most want to be.

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