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Why should I talk with my ophthalmologist about intraocular lenses (IOLs)?

Intraocular lenses are generally placed in the eye after the eyes natural lens is removed either in a refractive lens exchange procedure or a cataract operation. If you require cataract surgery then you will have an intraocular lens placed. There are several new options such as astigmatism correcting(toric) IOLs and multifocal IOLs to be considered. If you are over 50 and do not have a cataract but desire to be free of glasses then refractive lens exchange with an IOL may be considered in lieu of laser vision correction and you need to talk to your Eye M.D. about this option. Lastly, for those with high myopia or high hyperopia, who may not be candidates for laser, may be candidates for an IOL that is placed in the eye without removing the eyes natural lens.

There are several options for this as well. All of these procedures are performed only by an Eye M.D. which is a medical doctor with specialty training in eye surgery and medicine. The Eye M.D. will be able to answer all of your questions about these procedures.

While multifocal or accommodative IOLs do offer some people an alternative to dependence on glasses or contact lenses, they are not recommended for everyone. You may not be a good candidate for these IOLs if you are generally satisfied with glasses or contact lenses and unwilling to accept the uncertainty in the outcome of the surgical procedure. Even after the procedure, certain people may still need to wear glasses or contacts, especially for very fine print. 
Most people are happy with their multifocal IOLs and the decreased need for glasses. However, a small percentage of patients are bothered by halos, glare and a change in their quality of vision. Rarely, some people may request that their surgeon remove the multifocal or accommodative IOL and replace it with a monofocal IOL.
Surgery, contacts and glasses each have their benefits and drawbacks. The best method of correcting your vision should be decided after a thorough examination and discussion with your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.). Discuss your needs and lifestyle with your ophthalmologist  to determine the best procedure for you.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.