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. 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.” – V.T
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.
Most patients feel minimal, if any, discomfort during their procedure. Usually no shots or needles are necessary. 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.
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.
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.
Risks of Monofocal IOLs
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.