IOL FAQ

What is an intraocular lens?

Intraocular lenses, or IOL’s, are tiny artificial lenses used to replace the eye's natural lens, which is removed during lens surgery, either cataract surgery or refractive lens exchange (RLE) surgery.

What are my intraocular lens options?

Thanks to amazing technological advances, you have far more options than ever before to meet your visual needs.

IOL’s come in a variety of choices: multifocal and pseudo-accommodative IOLs, toric (astigmatism-correcting) IOLs, and monofocal IOLs.

  • Multifocal and pseudo-accomodative lens implants offer the best potential vision option.  Patients can see a wide-range of vision: distance (e.g. driving vision), intermediate (e.g. computer vision), and near (e.g. reading a book vision).  Multifocal and pseudo-accomodative lenses provide the most visual freedom among all the IOL choices.  Your eye surgeon will help you choose which specific IOL is right for you.
  • Toric lens implants correct astigmatism. Astigmatism causes the eye to be warped into an oval shape rather than a more normal and round shape. Astigmatism will cause blurry vision unless it is corrected by glasses, contacts, or surgery.  If a patient has astigmatism and wants to see more clearly without glasses or contacts, then the Toric lens implant at the time of cataract or RLE surgery would help patients see their very best without glasses or contacts.  The only limitation with the Toric IOL is that it focuses only at one distance and the patient will have to choose to be focused at distance or at near, e.g. If a patient chooses to be focused for distance, then the vision should be excellent for far away vision but the patient will still have to wear glasses for reading close up. But not everyone has astigmatism so you will have to ask your eye surgeon when you plan to have cataract or RLE surgery.
  • Monofocal lens implants are standard type IOLs. These are the standard, insurance-type lens that are used for cataract surgery. The lens will improve vision after cataract surgery but patients may still be dependent on reading glasses or prescription glasses such as bifocals or prorgressives.

The Eye Surgeons at Professional Eye Associates offer all the available lens choices including multifocal and toric intraocular lens:

  • Crystalens (pseudo-accomodative)
  • ReSTOR (multifocal)
  • Tecnis (multifocal)
  • Toric (astigmatism-correcting)

Your eye surgeon will help you determine which IOL is best for you.

How is IOL implantation performed?

A micro-incision is made into the eye using precision diamond blades, your eye surgeon carefully frees up the cataract/lens, and it is gently broken and softened into tiny pieces before being removed. The IOL is then gently inserted which unfolds slowly into the eye. Although, you should expect to spend approximately two hours total at the Professional Eye Surgery Center, most of this time is getting you ready before and after the surgery. And remember, this is the region's only All-Eye-Surgery-Center so everyone who cares for you, from start to finish, is highly skilled at caring for eye surgery patients. That's focused care that you can trust. The eye surgeons at Professional Eye Associates are so skilled that the surgery itself takes only a fraction of the time you are there.

Is IOL implantation painful?

No. Your eye surgeon at Professional Eye Associates will give you numbing medications before and during the surgery. You will receive sedation medication which will keep you comfortable. Ocassionally, patients may feel pressure during the actual lens implantation but it is typically mild, lasting only for a few seconds.

How much time will I need to recover from IOL implantation?

Not much time. Most patients leave with no eye patch, no stitches, and very little sign of having had surgery. That day, you may have some blurry vision but it will improve each day. You will need someone to take you home because the sedatives will affect your ability to drive safely. Once you are home, you are advised to rest. It is important that you wear the protective plastic shield when you sleep for one week and to use the after-surgery eye drops as directed. We will see you at the office the next day to check that your eye is healing properly. Most patients are able to drive and resume routine activities the day after surgery.

What type of results can I expect from IOL implantation?

This will depend on the type of IOL you choose, but you can generally expect to immediately notice some visual improvement, and greater improvement over time. Your ability to see without glasses or contacts will largely depend on the type of implant you chose prior to your surgery. (See above.)

Are there side effects from IOL implantation?

No, but some implants require more specific after-surgery instructions than others. Your eye surgeon will discuss those details with you. Generally speaking, you should expect at least a few of the following temporary side effects:

  • Irritation and discomfort
  • Redness
  • Blurred vision
  • Rings or halo vision
  • Light sensitivity

What's the first step to correcting my vision problem?

Contact our office to schedule a consultation. Your consultation includes a thorough examination and discussion of your treatment options. You will be able to have all your questions answered.

At Professional Eye Associates, we offer a wide range of vision correction procedures and eye treatments including ReStor, Crystalens, Tecnis and Toric IOLs. If you're in the Dalton, Calhoun or Ellijay areas please call or e-mail us any time to schedule your initial consultation. We look forward to talking with you!

Back to top ››