A large portion of the American population nowadays depends on eyeglasses and contact lenses to get by at work, and while driving or reading. While poor eyesight is very common due to our growing dependence on screens, increased cataract development is also to blame. Cataracts are extremely common, and always have been, although they occur more often now that people live longer. Cataracts are generally a sign of aging.
Cataracts are one of the most common eye conditions in the world. As we age, we begin to notice slow changes in our eyesight. This can be due to multiple different conditions, but one that seems to affect almost everyone is cataract development. Glasses and contact lenses can be helpful in the beginning stages of cataracts, generally allowing for adequate vision. But what happens when cataracts progress to the point where glasses and contact lenses don’t help?
Cataract surgery is one of the oldest types of surgery – dating back as early as the 5th century BC. Of course, a lot has changed since then. Modern cataract surgery safer and more effective than ever. Millions undergo cataract surgery successfully each year.
If you have been considering cataract surgery, you may have heard the term “IOL”. IOL stands for intraocular lens. In the context of cataract surgery, an intraocular lens is what will replace the cataract-affected lens inside of your eye. Corrective IOLs come in a variety of types, each with it’s own benefits. Depending on any pre-existing refractive errors you may have before cataract surgery, a special IOL can be chosen to help correct it, in addition to correcting cataracts.
Astigmatism is a refractive error caused by a misshapen cornea. This means that the eye is not able to properly focus light onto the retina. A toric IOL, an astigmatism correcting lens, can be used to replace a cataract affected lens in astigmatic patients. The toric IOL compensates for the misshapen cornea, equipped with the refractive power needed to correct astigmatism. The toric IOL is different than other intraocular lenses because it contains different refractive powers in different meridians (sections) of the IOL. No other IOL can be used to correct astigmatism.
A multifocal IOL enables patients to become less dependent on glasses when reading or driving. Similar to bifocal glasses, multifocal IOLs combine short and long distance refractive powers to help achieve clear vision at all distances. If you are struggling with cataracts and have myopia or hyperopia, multifocal IOL implants may be for you!
Monofocal IOLs focus at only one distance. Depending on your needs, one of our doctors here at Loden will determine whether you need a near, intermediate or distance monofocal lens. Generally, these lenses are standard and do not aid in correcting refractive errors. Most patients still cannot go without glasses, although they may be less dependent on them. The monofocal lens is more economical than the others, but is also less advanced.
Whichever IOL you choose, know that after cataract surgery here at Loden Vision, you will be amazed with your cataract-free vision. Cataract patients at Loden often remark that they did not realize just how badly cataracts affected their sight until they got them removed. Colors are brighter, words are clear, and you can see everything around you in great detail. If you have been considering cataract surgery but still have questions, call Loden Vision Center in Nashville, Tennessee to learn more!