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3-D Eye Online - Cataract Surgery - Lens Options: Accommodative

Accommodative Lenses

These newer IOL types reduce the need for glasses or contact lenses.

  • The design of the accommodative lens allows certain eye muscles to move the IOL forward and backward, changing the focus much as it would with a natural lens, allowing near and distance vision.
  • The ability to read and perform other tasks without glasses varies from person to person but is generally best when multifocal or accommodative IOLs are placed in both eyes.
  • It usually takes 6 to 12 weeks after surgery on the second eye for the brain to adapt and vision improvement to be complete with either of these IOL types.

Following surgery, optimal results will not be immediately apparent. You might not see your full visual outcome for one to three months. Most find that their vision continues to improve with time.

A 12 point font shown here should be a reasonable expectation for uncorrected near vision in the majority of patients.

+1.00 and +1.50 readers may be needed to see fine print, read a book, or perform complex near vision tasks.

For certain levels of astigmatism, it may be necessary to have another procedure to treat this condition following or during surgery.

Sometimes an enhancement is needed to fine tune your surgery. An enhancement is usually not advised until 3 months after your initial surgery

Considerations with Accommodative IOLs
For many people, these IOL types reduce but do not eliminate the need for glasses or contact lenses. For example, a person can read without glasses, but the words appear less clear than with glasses.

Each person's success with these IOLs may depend on the size of his/her pupils and other eye health factors. People with astigmatism can ask their eye surgeon about toric IOLs and related treatments.

Side effects such as glare or halos around lights, or decreased sharpness of vision (contrast sensitivity) may occur, especially at night or in dim light. Most people adapt to and are not bothered by these effects, but those who frequently drive at night or need to focus on close-up work may be more satisfied with monofocal IOLs.

Toric IOL for Astigmatism
This is a monofocal IOL with astigmatism correction built into the lens.

  • Astigmatism: This eye condition distorts or blurs the ability to see both near and distant objects. With astigmatism the cornea (the clear front window of the eye) is not round and smooth (like a basketball), but instead is curved like a football. People with significant degrees of astigmatism are usually most satisfied with toric IOLs.
  • People who want to reduce the need for eyeglasses may opt for an additional treatment called limbal relaxing incisions, which may be done at the same time as cataract surgery or separately. These small incisions allow the cornea's shape to be rounder or more symmetrical.


Protective IOL Filters
IOLs include filters to protect the eye's retina from exposure to UV and other potentially damaging light radiation. The eye surgeon selects the filters that will provide appropriate protection for the patient's specific needs.

Other Important Cataract Lens Replacement Considerations
In some cases, after healing completely from the cataract lens surgery, some people may need further correction to achieve the best vision possible. Their ophthalmologist may recommend additional surgery to exchange an IOL for another type, implant an additional IOL, or make limbal relaxing incisions in the cornea. Other laser refractive surgery may be recommended in some cases.

People who have had refractive surgery such as LASIK need to be carefully evaluated before getting IOLs because the ability to calculate the correct IOL prescription may be affected by the previous refractive surgery.

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3-D Eye Online - Cataract Surgery - Lens Options: IOL Overview