When a cataract-clouded lens is removed, it needs to be replaced by an artificial lens. These are called intraocular lenses (IOLs). Prior to 2005, patients had to choose a single distance where these artificial lenses would focus, either distance or near. The patient would then wear glasses to correct the vision distance not addressed by the monofocal lenses, usually for up close vision.
In 2005, the first multifocal IOLs came to market. This type of IOL provides correction for both near and distance vision, much like your eyes normally would. Both near and far objects can now be in focus at the same time without the use of glasses.
Toric Intraocular Lenses
Then in 2006, “toric” lenses were introduced. In the past, IOLs could not correct astigmatism in cataract surgeries. Astigmatism is where the eyeball is more oval shaped than round which creates focusing problems at certain distances.
Toric IOLs have different powers in different meridians of the lens to correct the asymmetric power of the eye, the tenets of astigmatism. Special markers are located on the peripheral parts of the Toric lens. This shows Dr. Sondheimer where the orientation of the lens needs to be placed onto the eyeball. Once the IOL is implanted in the eye, Dr. Sondheimer rotates the lens to align the lens to match the astigmatism markers.
What Is a Toric Monofocal IOL?
Toric monofocal IOLs correct astigmatism, but provide only one distance of optimal focus, either far or near. Patients choose which distance they prefer to have in focus, and correct their vision with eyeglasses for the other. The difference between a monofocal IOL and a toric monofocal IOL is the astigmatism correction.
Toric Monofocal IOLS Benefits
Monofocal IOLs still require correction for whichever vision distance you choose not to correct. However, they allow for the patient to have perfect or sharper vision at their chosen distance rather than improved vision at both distances. These lenses are also less expensive than toric multifocal IOLs.
Candidates for Toric Multifocal IOLS
If you have astigmatism, and prefer not to have to wear glasses for close up work such as reading or working on the computer, toric multifocal IOLs could be a great option for your cataract replacement lenses. These lenses may or may not return you to 20/20 vision, but they will likely deliver accurate enough vision that you will no longer need any eyeglasses.
IOL Lenses Patient Testimonial
What Is a Toric Multifocal IOL?
Toric multifocal IOLs also correct astigmatism but provide correction for both near and distance vision. This allows objects at both near and far to be in focus at the same time. It will take some time for your brain to learn how to process this new visual information. After adjusting most patients no longer need eyeglasses. Toric multifocal IOLs also correct for presbyopia which mostly occurs in adults over 40.
Intraocular Lens Options
Both monofocal and multifocal IOLs, toric or not, have different characteristics depending on the brand. Dr. Sondheimer will discuss your options with you during your consultation. He will explain what each brand does differently with their individual products to help you make the right choice for your lifestyle.
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Toric Multifocal IOLS Benefits
These lenses allow most people to be free from eyeglasses. They allow you to correct vision far away, close up, and all distances in between. People who have these toric lenses find they can be glasses-free, except for very fine print. This can vary by patient, but people do appreciate not having to wear reading glasses for most situations.
Candidates for Toric Monofocal IOLS
Four out of 10 Americans have significant amount of astigmatism, so these IOLs are a good option. People in professions such as airplane pilots or others that require excellent distance vision may opt for these toric monofocal IOLs, knowing they will have to wear reading glasses for near vision.