IntraOcularLens (IOLs)

What is an Intraocular lens? This is the lens that is put into place of your natural cataract lens during cataract surgery. This lens will not need to be replaced or changed like glasses each year.



Conventional IOLs are single-focus, or monofocal, lenses. They cannot change focus from far distance to near. Following cataract surgery, patients may be able to perform many activities without glasses, but patients will need to choose from the same options available to everyone else over the age of 50 – contact lenses, bifocals, or separate driving or reading eyeglasses – to optimize their focus at different distances.


Multifocal IOLs are designed to produce more than one focus point – part of the lens is set for distance focus and part of the lens is set for near focus. Therefore, compared to a monofocal lens implant set for distance focus only, a multifocal IOL should improve one’s ability to see close up without glasses. Patients who receive a multifocal lens enjoy the convenience of requiring reading glasses much less often than with a conventional monofocal lens. However, they generally still wear reading glasses for some tasks, such as prolonged reading or close work.

Toric IOLs

Toric IOLs are a type of monofocal lens implant used to correct astigmatism. Astigmatism, an imperfection in the natural shape of one’s cornea, causes an undesirable blur or misfocus and can be corrected with prescription spectacles. By placing this optical correction directly into the toric IOL, the natural sight without glasses is better than with a conventional monofocal IOL for eyes with astigmatism.

Selecting your lens implant power At some point prior to your surgery, your surgeon will select a specific lens power for your IOL with the goal of achieving your target focal distance. With your input, the surgeon must decide approximately where (far, near, or intermediate focus) to target your uncorrected vision (without glasses) after surgery. Your lifestyle, the vision of your other eye, and your prior glasses prescription are all factors to consider.


NEED MORE INFO? Read more about Choosing an Artificial Lens for Cataract Surgery

The following forms contain questions about your current visual function and covers your visual needs that will help you and your surgeon reach a decision on which lens selection will be best for you.