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Cataract Lens Replacement Options

Lens Implants

A cataract is the clouding of the crystalline lens within your eye. At Milan Eye Center in Atlanta, cataract surgery involves removing the lens and implanting a new lens in its place inside the eye. Patients must select which lens option they prefer. Since this decision is complex, we feel that it is important to educate you regarding all of the available options. At the time of your visit, our knowledgeable staff will go over the replacement lens options that best fit your needs.

Monofocal Lens

The monofocal lens implant is a lens with a single focus. Patients who choose a monofocal lens may typically receive good distance vision. While many of these patients only need reading glasses after surgery, some monofocal lens patients may need bifocal lenses to help them see objects at a distance and up close. Generally, this is because of astigmatism which can be corrected in some situations. Your surgeon can talk to you more about this. Monofocal lenses are covered by most insurance plans and Medicare as part of your cataract surgery.

Toric Astigmatism Correcting Lens

An astigmatism correcting lens is known as a toric lens. Astigmatism is when your eye is shaped a little bit more steeply in one direction than it is in the other direction. For patients who have astigmatism before cataract surgery, the toric lens implant has an inherent ability to neutralize the astigmatism. By implanting a toric intraocular lens, patients can expect higher quality distance vision versus a monofocal lens and may only need glasses for reading. Many patients who have astigmatism have always had to wear glasses to focus their vision. Now, with the option of using toric lenses in cataract surgery, these patients have a life changing opportunity to be glasses free for distance vision.

Multifocal Lens

Another popular option is the multifocal lens. The multifocal lens allows patients to see distance as well as up close with little or no need for glasses. The rings within the multifocal lens implant have different focal points, allowing patients to see both distance and near while looking in any direction. If a patient had to wear glasses prior to cataract surgery, by choosing the multifocal lens, they can most likely eliminate the need for glasses after cataract surgery. Additionally, any astigmatism that patient’s may have is addressed at the time of cataract surgery to allow the multifocal lens to work optimally.


Yet another option for your vision after cataract surgery is monovision. Those patients who are used to wearing contact lenses with one eye corrected for near and one eye corrected for distance have the option of keeping monovision with the monofocal lens implants after removing their cataracts. Therefore, a patient would be allowed to see both distance and up close with little to no need for glasses. The trade off is that patients who choose monovision lenses would have reduced depth perception, compared to their counterparts who continue to use glasses or the multifocal lens. Additionally, if astigmatism is detected during your evaluation, it must be addressed for monovision to function well.

Accommodating Lenses

These lenses are another option for those patients seeking to limit their eyeglasses wear. Accommodating lenses are sophisticated implants that flex within the eye to give patients clear vision at distance and intermediate ranges. Near vision for smaller print will require over the counter glasses.

Accommodating lenses have the benefit of not having any glare or halo side effects. Additionally, any astigmatism that patients may have is addressed at the time of cataract surgery to allow the multifocal lens to work optimally. Your surgeon will assist you in determining the best lens option for you.