Feb 28

Monofocal vs. Multifocal IOLs

by Jeffrey Minkovitz
Tagged with: Cataract Surgery Iols

If you are planning to have cataract surgery, you will need to decide which type of intraocular lens to have implanted during surgery. The monofocal lens provides clear focusing ability for vision at one distance: either near or far vision. Multifocal lenses allow patients to focus clearly on both near and far objects, without the aide of glasses or contact lenses. At Eye Physicians and Surgeons, PA, we offer both types of IOLs at our Wilmington laser vision correction practice.

Monofocal and multifocal IOLs (intraocular lenses) are surgical implanted in the eye after cataract removal surgery.  Multifocal IOLs are also placed in patients that have presbyopia, or age-related farsightedness; use of the multifocal IOL allows presbyopic patients to regain their ability to see near objects, while also maintaining the ability to see at a distance.

IOLs act as a replacement for the natural lens of the eye. The IOL acts similarly to a contact lens, bending light sharply onto a focus point. The difference is that IOLs are permanently placed in the eye. During surgery, the natural lens is removed, and then the IOL is inserted through a small incision. Next, our surgeons place the IOL in the proper position.

Monofocal Lenses

Monofocal lenses focus on one area of vision strength. These lenses provide patients with the sharpest power over any other IOL. However, they leave individuals dependent on glasses when requiring vision assistance for another level of focus. (i.e. when using monofocal lenses for near objects, glasses will be required to see objects at a distance). Monofocal lenses are best for a patient who:

  • Desires the clearest image of any other IOL
  • Needs a lens that caters to contrast sensitivity
  • Has a career/hobby dependent on perfect vision, or often drives at night
  • Wants cost effective lenses: monofocal lenses are covered by Medicare and most insurers with little to no out-of-pocket cost
  • Doesn’t mind the dependency on glasses for other areas of visual improvement   

Multifocal Lenses

Multifocal lenses are used to sharpen the vision at near and far distances. These lenses utilize different focal points throughout the lens allowing the individual to see clearly in both distance and near vision. Multifocal lenses best cater to the individual who:

  • Would like independence from the use of glasses
  • Requires multiple areas of correction in eyesight

Multifocal lenses offer excellent results for patients. However, some patients may experience side effects after surgery. Multifocal lenses can make it difficult to see light objects in the dark. When attempting to focus on a lit object in dark areas, a halo may appear. These side effects may go away after a few months.

Depending on the needs of the individual patient, monofocal or multifocal lenses can be sufficient in improving the eyesight of our Wilmington cataract surgery patients. Our physicians at Eye Physicians and Surgeons, PA, are here to assist patients in choosing the best IOL for their surgery. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at our practice. 

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