Our eyes are one of the most important organs in our bodies. It’s our sense of sight that affords us the ability to see all the wonderful sights there are around the world, while at the same time, being aware of any threats in our environment. Although most people make it through life without losing their vision entirely, deterioration in vision as we age is still a common issue. One cause of this reduction in quality of vision is called cataracts. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at cataracts as well as educate you on lenses options that will be available for your cataract surgery.
What Are Cataracts?
Many people think that when it comes to vision, you either have it or you don’t. Although certain conditions such as vitreous haemorrhage, damage to the retina, and other serious medical conditions like strokes or brain tumours can lead to immediate loss of vision, cataracts are not one of those.
In both of our eyes, there is a lens that refracts light that passes through it. However, in order for light to pass through this lens, it needs to be transparent. When this lens becomes cloudy or discolored, it is known as a cataract. As aforementioned, cataracts is not an eye condition that develops immediately, it’s something that usually begins in late adulthood and gets much worse into old age. As such, it’s not always easy for people to notice it’s happening. If someone is developing cataracts, they may not realize it’s an issue until they can no longer do the things they used to love doing.
The most common way of treating cataracts is with cataracts surgery. Something that may come to a relief for a lot of people suffering from cataracts is that there usually isn’t any harm in taking time to determine whether you want or need cataract surgery. In other words, cataracts don’t typically progress to other, more serious health conditions. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t visit an ophthalmologist immediately, however. The sooner you visit an eye doctor, the sooner you can start to outline a treatment schedule and feel relieved knowing that you have a plan for your future.
Before beginning your surgery, you and your eye doctor will discuss what’s called an intraocular lens (IOL). The IOL is an artificial lens that is used to replace your natural lens. This lens is clear and allows light to reach the back of your eye as intended. But there isn’t just one type of lens you can get, keep reading to learn a bit more about each type of lens and their benefits.
Monofocal IOLs are the most common type of cataract lenses and are often seen as a standard when replacing a natural lens. As the name suggests, monofocal lenses only focus to one distance, near or intermediate, depending on your preferences. Many patients opt for the intermediate monofocal lenses and use glasses when they need to focus on something up close, for example, when reading.
There is another option regarding monofocal lenses known as monovision. This term refers to one monofocal lens of different distances being inserted into each eye. The main compromise with this option is that many patients experience difficulty with depth perception because both eyes are focused at different distance. For some patients, this may be a good option, however, it’s best to speak with your ophthalmologist about all your options before deciding on this.
Accommodation refers to the process of the eye adjusting its focusing power in order for someone to see clearly at all distances. With traditional IOLs, the lens is held in place with no movement meaning there is only one focusing distance. However, with accommodating IOLs, the legs are flexible enough that the optical portion is able to be distorted enough to have an expanded range of vision.
Crystalens or Trulign Toric
Both Crystalens IOL and Trulign Toric IOLs operate in a similar way. Although they both correct presbyopia, the Trulign Toric IOL also corrects nearsightedness or farsightedness, as well as astigmatism.
For most patients, multifocal IOLs are the ideal option for lens replacement and are best at replicating the natural lens before it became cloudy. These lenses allow you to see well at multiple distances without compromise and most people report not needing contacts or glasses after receiving multifocal IOLs. Unlike contacts, you won’t need to do anything to maintain multifocal lenses, however, you should notify your eye doctor of any eye-related issues you may be experiencing in case they have an effect on how this type of lens operates. Like accommodating IOLs, multifocal IOLs are presbyopia-correcting lenses.
As you can see, there are a lot of different options available to your for your cataract surgery, so as always, it’s important to make sure you’re speaking with a professional ophthalmologist in order to determine what will work best for you and your lifestyle.
As with any surgical procedure, it’s important to keep in touch with medical specialists post-surgery to ensure that your new lens is working as intended and that it’s providing you with what you need to maintain your preferred lifestyle. At Round Rock Eye Consultants, we specialize in laser cataract surgery and traditional cataract surgery. Contact us today to schedule an eye exam or consultation.