Intraocular Lenses

November 12, 2012

Intraocular Lenses

Conditions such as cataract cloud the crystalline lens of the eye and prevent it from focusing light onto the retina of the eye. Replacing this lens with an intraocular lens (IOL) may help improve vision by focusing the light correctly.

Construction of Intraocular Lenses

Intraocular lenses are made of plastic, silicone or acrylic, and consist of a round, corrective central portion and two arms known as haptics, which help to keep the lens in its position within the capsular bag of the eye. The latest intraocular lenses are quarter of an inch or less in diameter. They are soft and flexible, and require a very small incision during the surgery.


Intraocular lenses can be classified based on their position as follows:

  • Posterior chamber lens is the most common type of IOL and is placed exactly in the position of the natural lens, which is behind the iris and within the capsule of the eye.

  • Anterior chamber lenses are used when the capsule is damaged due to an injury. The lens is placed in front of the iris.

IOL lenses can also be categorized based on techniques they use:

  • Monofocal lenses help correct the vision within a certain distance. Almost 95 percent of people, who receive these lenses, can see the way they used to before the cataract. However, they may require glasses to see or read things that are at a certain distance from them.

  • Monovision technique helps surgeons to insert a near-vision lens in one eye and a distance-vision lens in the other one. Patients undergoing this procedure may, however, require time to adjust their vision as each eye focuses differently at the same time.

  • Multifocal intraocular lenses are advanced technology lenses that may eliminate the need of eyeglasses or contact lenses after the cataract surgery. These specialized lenses divide the light and focus it on multiple points on the retina thereby, providing both near and far vision.

  • Accommodative intraocular lenses move with the muscles of your eye and help focus the light on multiple points. These lenses also lower your chances of wearing glasses after the surgery.

  • Astigmatism lenses help correct cataracts associated with astigmatism. These lenses lower the need for distance vision lenses after surgery.

There are many varieties of intraocular lenses in the market. However, there is no one lens that would suit everybody. Your doctor can help you choose the right lens after diagnosing your vision problems.


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