When we do cataract surgery we replace the lens of the eye with an artificial lens and our different style of lens are available and this is an implant that we would use for cataract surgery. A model obviously a lot larger than the real lens would be. The lenses have these flexible loops on the side that helps like a spring like fashion to help to position it into the eye and hold it in proper position. The central portion of the lens is called the optic zone. The optic zone is the part that focuses the light. There are basically two different types of lenses and the traditional lens is called a monofocal lens meaning that the lens can focus to light at a fixed distance. So we can select the power of the lens, prescribing the lens much like we would glasses, we prescribe a lens to focus your vision for distance vision so that you can see clear distance but with the monofocal lens the near vision would still be blurred. So patients with monofocal lens would need reading glasses. There are new lenses now available that are called multifocal lens implants and the multifocal lens implant enfolds a different design of the optic portion of the lens that can focus the light at both the distance and the near simultaneously. So multifocal lenses are capable of focusing your distance vision and your near vision eliminating potentially the need for reading glasses and it is really a unique development and a recent development in ophthalmology. These lenses work best when both eyes have the same lens in place. So someone who may have a cataract in one eye, but a normal clear lens in the other eye, may not want to have a multifocal lens implant, but in most cases patients have cataracts in both eyes of varying degrees and if plans are made to have cataract surgery in both eyes then a multifocal lens might be a suitable option. In addition to monofocal and multifocal lens implants, we also now have a new lens called a toric lens and this lens is designed to correct the stigmatism at the same time that we do cataract surgery and the goal is to be able to achieve excellent uncorrected vision for distance with the toric lens so patients would hopefully not be needing to wear glasses for the distance vision, but still might need to wear a reading glasses. When you come in to be evaluated for cataract surgery, we will discuss the various options of lens implant with you so that you can help decide, which lens would work best for your visual needs.
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