Intraocular lenses, also known as IOLs, are artificial lenses implanted in the eye as part of the cataract surgery procedure. IOLs replace the eye’s natural lens that has become cloudy from a cataract and correct refractive errors.

There are many different types of IOLs, and the eye doctors at Maine Eye Center can help you decide which one may be the best option for your eyes and vision goals,

What Are IOLs?

An intraocular lens is a small, artificial lens that is surgically placed in the eye during cataract surgery after the cataract-affected natural lens is removed. IOLs are usually made of plastic, silicone, or acrylic material. 

There are many different types of IOLs. Choosing an IOL to replace your natural lens during cataract surgery is a critical process of the cataract surgery journey. 

How Do IOLs Work?

IOLs work by replacing the eye’s natural lens that has become clouded by cataracts. The artificial IOL takes over the focusing power of the old natural lens and restores clear vision at certain distances based on the IOL power and type selected.

IOLs have an optic, or central part, that focuses light and refractive power. Some IOLs also have small flexible haptics, or side arms, that hold the IOL in place within the capsule. 

The power and shape of the IOL optic determine its ability to focus light and correct refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. The artificial IOL implanted gives the eye a new ability to focus light and restore optimal vision based on the IOL design.

How Do I Know Which IOL is Best For Me?

During your cataract evaluation, your eye doctor will ask you about your vision goals, budget, lifestyle, and hobbies. After examining your eyes and talking with you about your goals, your eye doctor will help you narrow down the best IOL options for you.

Toric IOL

Toric IOLs are designed to correct astigmatism as well as nearsightedness or farsightedness. Astigmatism is an imperfection in the curvature of the cornea or lens that causes blurred vision at any distance. 

Your eye doctor will determine, based on the amount of astigmatism you have, whether or not a toric IOL will benefit you. It is an ideal option for those with higher amounts of astigmatism seeking freedom from glasses and contacts after cataract surgery or refractive lens exchange.

PanOptix IOL

The PanOptix IOL is designed to provide clear, continuous vision at all distances thanks to its unique trifocal optic. The trifocal optic focuses light at far, intermediate, and near ranges. 

This provides an extended range of excellent-quality vision from viewing distances far away to tasks up close without any visual gaps in between. You can seamlessly go from driving and watching TV to computer work and shopping to reading books and menus. 

The PanOptix gives visual freedom and reduces glasses dependence after cataract surgery. The PanOptix also comes in a toric version called PanOptix Toric that corrects astigmatism in addition to distance, intermediate, and near vision.

The PanOptix Toric is an optimal choice for those with astigmatism who desire reduced dependence on glasses after cataract surgery. With its trifocal optic, it provides the visual freedom to do what you love from sunrise to sunset.

Vivity IOL

The Vivity IOL provides continuous vision at distance and intermediate ranges thanks to its unique extended depth of focus technology. Rather than multiple focal points, it uses optics to elongate the single focal point.

This provides a seamless range of vision, from seeing far away to tasks at arm’s length. You can view distances clearly as well as use technology and see menus without visual gaps.

The Vivity is ideal for those who desire excellent distance and intermediate vision with reduced glasses dependence after cataract surgery or refractive lens exchange. The Vivity also comes in a toric version, the Vivity Toric IOL, that provides the same distance to intermediate vision while also correcting astigmatism. 

Do you want to learn more about your IOL options? Schedule an appointment at Maine Eye Center in Portland, ME, today!