Intraocular lenses, or IOLs, are artificial lenses surgically implanted into the eyes. IOLs are most often used to treat people with cataracts, but they can also be used to treat people with myopia, especially if they aren’t eligible for LASIK eye surgery.
What is a Phakic IOL?
Phakic IOLs are used to correct moderate to severe cases of nearsightedness. They don’t replace the natural lens; they supplement it and function like a contact lens that is permanently attached to the eye. The eye surgeon will implant the phakic IOL either between the iris and the cornea or behind the iris.
The patient won’t feel the IOL within their eye, just as a dental patient doesn’t feel a filling in their tooth. Phakic IOLs don’t need any maintenance beyond regular eye exams.
Types of IOLs Used for Cataract Patients
The FDA approved intraocular lenses for use in treating cataracts back in the 1980s. Before then, people who underwent cataract surgery had to wear thick glasses. Now, cataract patients get IOLs to replace the lens.
Monofocal IOLs are the oldest type. They are designed to enable a person to see clearly only at a given focal point or distance. They can be set to provide distance vision, intermediate vision or near vision. Most patients choose to get a monofocal lens for distance vision, so they can drive without wearing glasses, and they will use reading glasses when they need to see up close.
A toric IOL is a type of monofocal IOL designed for a patient who also has astigmatism. Multifocal or accommodative IOLs have series of rings or focal zones built into them. The rings enable the patient to see clearly from any distance.
What Does Cataract Surgery Involve?
Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure. The surgeon will use a special laser to cut a corneal flap so she can access the lens. She will then use ultrasound to break up the lens into little pieces that are removed through a gentle suction. The surgeon then implants the IOL in the same place as the natural lens, behind the pupil and iris. The surgeon closes the incision in the patient’s eye and covers the eye with a protective shield. The procedure typically takes around 20 minutes.
Who is a Good Candidate for Intraocular Lenses?
Basically, if someone is healthy enough to undergo cataract surgery, they are healthy enough to get IOLs. People who need excellent night vision and/or distance vision for their occupation generally do better with monofocal IOLs than with multifocal IOLs. The best candidates for phakic IOLs will be between 21 and 40 years old, and they will not have eye conditions other than myopia.
Schedule a Consultation Today
To learn more about intraocular lenses, visit Wichita Vision Institute in Wichita. Dr. Patel understands that every patient has unique needs, so there are a range of IOLs offered. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to find out which type of IOL is best for you.