Intraocular Lens (IOL) Options

During cataract surgery, an artificial lens known as an intraocular lens (IOL) will be inserted into your eye to replace the natural lens that was removed. IOLs are made of soft, flexible silicone or acrylic and are similar to prescription glasses or contact lenses in the sense that they have different focusing powers (or prescription strengths). A measurement of your eye will be necessary to determine the appropriate power for your IOL. There are many different types of IOLs that our patients have the option to choose from:

Monofocal IOL: These are one of the most common lenses. They have a  fixed focus for one distance, which can be either near focus, mid-distance focus, or distant focus depending on what the patient prefers. Many select to have them set for distance vision and then have the option of wearing glasses for close-up work. These are advantageous if an individual is required to have excellent distance vision.


Multifocal IOL: Like bifocals, these allow an individual to see things clearer at different distances. However, distance vision is slightly compromised in order for the lenses to focus at all distances. Multifocal lenses are preferred when the patient wants a strong magnifying power to read close-up. It may take a few months for your brain to adapt and pick the right focus naturally. These are a great option for individuals who prefer to be glasses-free.

Accommodating IOL: These lenses act like an individual’s natural lens, and are able to focus at more than one distance. Accommodating IOLs have greater flexibility, allowing them to change shape inside and focus at the proper distance. They typically provide better distance vision than Multifocal IOLs, but patients may still need to wear glasses for reading.

Toric (Astigmatism-Correcting) IOL: These lenses are used if the patient has an astigmatism. They help fix the refractive error caused by the misshapen lens or cornea so the patient won’t need to wear corrective eyewear after the surgery.

If you are considering cataract surgery, our doctors will speak with you and help you decide on the perfect artificial lens for your lifestyle.

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Suburban Associates in Ophthalmology

Suburban Associates in Ophthalmology is an Illinois Ophthalmologist group dedicated to excellence in ophthalmology such as laser refractive surgery, LASIK, eye exams, glaucoma care, contact lenses, glasses and more. Office locations include Arlington Heights, Hoffman Estates and Elk Grove, IL.

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