A cataract is the clouding of the eye’s natural lens. Early stages of the disease can be treated with glasses and contact lenses, while more advanced stages require surgical intervention. Cataract surgery involves removing the clouded lens and replacing it with an artificial intraocular lens (IOL) to restore clear vision.
One of the most common questions cataract patients ask the Hoffman Estates eye doctors at Mack Eye Center is whether they will still need to wear glasses after surgery. Below, we answer this question in detail.
What to Know about Restoring Vision with Cataract Surgery
Whether or not you will need to wear prescription eyewear after cataract surgery depends on several factors, including the type of IOL used to replace the natural lens. The standard type of IOL used in cataract surgery is the monofocal IOL, which restores vision at a single fixed distance. Most patients decide to have the IOL restore vision at far distance, in which case they will need to wear reading glasses to see clearly up close. Other patients opt to have their monofocal IOL correct near vision and rely on glasses for distance vision.
Patients who opt for monofocal IOLs have the choice of having each lens adjusted for different vision distances. This technique, called monovision cataract surgery, involves adjusting one IOL for near distance and the other for far distance. This reduces the need for glasses at all distances.
There are a number of premium IOLs that can reduce and possibly even eliminate your need for eyeglasses after cataract surgery. Multifocal IOLs restore clear vision at multiple distances (near, intermediate and far) following cataract surgery. In some cases, multifocal IOLs eliminate the need to wear glasses altogether after surgery. Other options include toric IOLs and accommodating IOLs. Toric IOLs are appropriate for cataract patients with pre-existing astigmatism, while accommodating IOLs are an advanced option that allow the eye to focus clearly at multiple distances.
Ultimately, no IOL or surgical technique can guarantee that you won’t need to wear glasses after cataract surgery. But if correctly selected, your IOL can greatly reduce your dependency on glasses, giving you the ability to enjoy many of life’s activities glasses-free.
It is very important to have realistic expectations of what cataract surgery can and cannot do for you. If you are considering cataract surgery, Mack Eye Center encourages you to schedule a consultation with one of our board certified cataract surgeons. Upon evaluating the symptoms of your condition, we can help you select that IOL and surgical approach that will yield the best results for you.
To schedule your consultation, contact Mack Eye Center today.