Intraocular lenses (IOLs) are the artificial lenses that are used to replace the natural lens during cataract surgery. The cataract counselor will talk to you about the different IOLs that are available. You and your doctor will make the final decision on what makes the most sense for your individual needs.

Traditional lens, monofocal lens –  These lenses correct your vision at one distance. You may need glasses or contact lenses following cataract surgery to see well, possibly for both distance and near tasks.

Multifocal lens –  This is similar to wearing a progressive lens in your glasses. These lenses allow better vision in the distance, mid-range (for computer or reading music), and near vision (reading, knitting). You may still need glasses/contacts for some tasks.

Toric Lens –  These lenses correct astigmatism. If you have more astigmatism, these lenses may help you achieve more visual independence at some distances.

Depending on your lens selection and how you heal, you may need correction (glasses or contacts) for some or all activities. You will find that your vision and function are typically improved by removing the cloudy cataract. 

Things to consider when talking with your surgeon:

  • Do I want to wear glasses for distance?
  • Do I want to wear glasses for near vision?
  • Do I want to be free from wearing glasses?

It’s also important to think about the things you enjoy doing to help you with your decision making:

  • Do I participate in outside activities?
  • Do I spend time knitting or crocheting?
  • Do I work on a computer all day?
  • Do I need to read music to play an instrument?
  • Do I read a lot?

For More Information

Intraocular Implants (IOLs)