What Is an IOL?
An IOL is an intraocular lens. This is an artificial lens that is approximately one-third the diameter of a dime. The lens is implanted into the eye to replace a natural lens that has become clouded by cataracts.
What Are Monofocal IOLS?
Monofocal IOLs give vision with higher contrast than multifocal IOLs which focuses light at close, intermediate, and near. Additionally, monofocal intraocular lenses are structures that are made with a prescription for a single distance. For example, a monofocal IOL can improve the clarity of distance vision, but not up-close vision.
Will I Still Need Glasses?
By choosing a monofocal lens set at distance vision, a patient continues to need reading glasses, if they have difficulty seeing up-close. Conversely, a monofocal IOL can be prescribed to improve up-close vision, if so desired. The limitation of this type of IOL is that it is not adjustable from near to far vision.
Who Is a Candidate for a Monofocal IOL?
Patients who are interested in cataract surgery are good candidates for monofocal IOLs. For most patients, this type of IOL achieves optimal results when both eyes are being treated, rather than just one.
“Excellent, highly experienced & magically skilled doctor. He replaced cataracts with symfony multifocal IOLs in both eyes without complications (1 week after 2nd surgery now). Was at work next day in both cases. Can not be happier with my new crispy clear vision.”
Benefits of Monofocal IOLS
Clearer vision is the primary benefit of any type of lens replacement, including the monofocal IOL. Another benefit is that monofocal lenses minimize glare and halos around lights in comparison to multifocal lenses. Additionally, patients may find that their health insurance benefits extend at least partial coverage for their monofocal lens replacement while they do not cover multifocal lenses.
Often, people who undergo cataract surgery wear eyeglasses when they drive, especially at night. The insertion of a monofocal IOL may improve distance vision, reducing this need. Toric IOLs are a premium type of monofocal intraocular lens that can correct astigmatism as well as overall visual clarity, often enabling patients to be able to see to drive or read without glasses.
The Monofocal IOL Procedure
Dr. Sondheimer has helped many people manage their vision needs alongside the aging process and the progression of cataracts. Many patients choose to have cataract surgery performed with femtosecond laser His expertise in laser eye surgery is sought by patients in Skokie, IL and environs. Lens replacement surgery is conducted as an outpatient procedure. Numbing drops are administered to anesthetize the eye.
After anesthetizing the eye, Dr. Sondheimer makes precise incisions in the cornea and lens. The cloudy crystalline lens is broken up into fragments using ultrasound waves. Gentle suction then removes the fragmented pieces. The selected IOL is then inserted into the lens capsule. Because the procedure is conducted through specifically-constructed incisions, there is usually no need for stitches, the incision will heal on its own.
Is the Procedure Painful?
Most patients feel minimal, if any, discomfort during their procedure. Usually no shots or needles are necessary.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from the Monofocal IOL Procedure?
Immediately following treatment, it’s recommended that patients get a full night of rest so their eyes can adjust overnight. Incisions from the monofocal IOL procedure will be small, but it can still take at least one week to heal from any discomfort from the time of the patient’s surgery. During this week, it’s essential to avoid getting water in the eyes. Washing the face and showering should be approached gently, and swimming in pools, the ocean, or lakes should be avoided.
It may take up to six months for patients to see the final results of their procedure as the eye adjusts to its new lens and their body heals. Over time, the patient’s vision will begin to improve.
Results of Monofocal IOLS
Most patients achieve optimal results from the placement of a monofocal IOL after cataract surgery. This technique improves vision at a single distance. In most cases, patients choose a monofocal IOL that sharpens their distance vision.
How Long Will My Results Last?
Patients can expect to see improvement in their vision in the morning after a full night’s sleep from the day of their surgery. Vision will continue to improve for the next six months. The results from mono-focal IOLs are designed to last a lifetime, so your results will be permanent. While it may take some commitment for your eyes and body to adjust to your new vision, many patients say that their permanent results are worth it, as their improved vision helps to make their everyday lives easier.
Are There Any Side Effects from the Monofocal IOL Procedure?
Although the monofocal IOL procedure is entirely safe, some patients may experience a few side effects from the surgery, which can include:
- Halos or glares in the vision, especially at night or in poorly lit areas
- Increased light sensitivity
- Soreness or stinging from the incisions
- Blurred vision
- Dry eye
Under the care of Dr. Sondheimer, who draws upon years of experience in eye surgery, these side effects should go away on their own within about a week. As long as patients follow the aftercare guidelines Dr. Sondheimer recommends during their recovery period, these side effects can easily be managed, and upon their disappearance, patients will be able to enjoy their improved vision without pain, complication, or discomfort.
What Is the Difference Between Monofocal and Multifocal IOLS?
The monofocal lens is designed to improve visual clarity at a single distance, usually farther distance versus up-close vision. This IOL is believed to provide the clearest image but leaves a patient needing eyeglasses for certain tasks. Multifocal IOLs are designed to improve near, intermediate, and distant vision. This choice is appealing for people who desire to see without the need for corrective lenses. , making this choice appealing for people with presbyopia, or age-related farsightedness. Multifocal IOLs are more likely to produce halos than monofocal IOLs.
Toric IOLs are monofocal lenses, but they work differently than the monofocal intraocular lens. A Toric lens is made to correct astigmatism, a common refractive error in which the spherical curvature of the front of the eye is astigmatic. IOLs focus light on the retina, often enabling patients to see clearly in the distance or at near without corrective lens. This IOL is implanted using special marks that align the lens at the appropriate part of the eye.
Is Lens Replacement Surgery Safe?
Lens replacement surgery itself is safe and effective in more than 99 percent of cases. One of the primary risks of cataract removal is that vision will continue to be slightly blurry even with a new lens. In most cases, patients achieve satisfactory results with their chosen IOL. Monofocal IOLs usually require the patient to continue needing eyeglasses for certain tasks.