Learn More About Intraocular Lens Technology
An intraocular lens (IOL) is an implantable artificial lens, designed to replace the natural lens of the eye. A typical intraocular lens is, meaning that it has a fixed, single viewing distance. Therefore, individuals with an intraocular lens may still require corrective lenses in order to read or drive following treatment. However, some patients may be candidates for premium multifocal lenses, which greatly reduce dependence on corrective lenses. During a personal consultation at the Black Hills Regional Eye Institute, one of our physicians will be able to evaluate your case and determine if implantation of an intraocular lens (IOL) at our Rapid City or one of our satellite locations meets your individual needs.
The implantation is conducted under local anesthesia, and the patient remains conscious for the entire procedure. Once the patient has been anesthetized, one of our physicians makes a small incision that allows the placement of the flexible IOL. The entire procedure usually takes between twenty and thirty minutes and depending on the case, with complete recovery taking two to three weeks. If the implantation is being performed in conjunction with cataract surgery, the intraocular lens will be placed in the eye following the removal of the cataract, through the same small incision.
If you are suffering from serious vision problems, especially clouded vision from cataracts, it may be time to consider IOL implantation. Please contact the Eye Institute today to schedule a personal consultation to discuss the intraocular lens and its implantation at our Rapid City location or one of our satellite surgery locations including, Spearfish, Deadwood, Pierre, or Gillette WY.
Intraocular Lens Candidates
Anyone who is a candidate for cataract surgery is also a potential candidate for an intraocular lens. Insertion of an intraocular lens for the treatment of cataracts is one of the most commonly performed eye surgery procedures. Once the clouded cataract is removed, the intraocular lens will be implanted to replace the natural lens of the eye. With the cataract removed and the new IOL in place, almost all patients regain good if not superior vision. And there is no chance of the cataract returning since the natural lens has been removed.
While the use of IOLs in cataract surgery is quite common, intraocular lenses also serve another purpose. For patients looking to correct severe refractive errors, the implantation of intraocular lenses can permanently correct their vision. Individuals with serious vision problems will not be viable candidates for LASIK, iLASIK, or LASEK; fortunately, the implantation of an intraocular lens can correct dramatic refractive errors that these other procedures cannot.
Lose the Cataract and Lose the Glasses!
Multifocal lenses refer to artificial lenses that, when implanted inside the eye, restore both distance and near vision without the need for glasses. Historically, when someone developed a cataract (clouding of the lens inside the eye), it was removed and replaced with a clear, monofocal lens that allowed for focus at one distance. This meant that glasses were often necessary for distance and/or near vision. Newer technologies and cataract surgery techniques have allowed for more precision and greater options in correcting vision to reduce the dependence on glasses. Premium multifocal lenses are a type of intraocular lens. The Black Hills Regional Eye Institute is pleased to offer multifocal lenses to the Rapid City community and 5 state region.
Multifocal lenses, like traditional IOLs, are implanted in the eye, producing lasting vision correction. While typical intraocular lenses are monofocal, having a single viewing distance, premium multifocal lenses have different distance zones built into the lens, allowing for both near and distance viewing. While multifocal lenses do tend to take more time to adapt to, the results are obvious once the patient’s eyes adjust.
Candidates for Multifocal Lenses
Anyone undergoing cataract surgery could potentially benefit from multifocal options. This is the optimal time to implant the new, man-made lens because the cataract has to be removed regardless. This generally occurs sometime after the age of fifty. Given the success of multifocal technologies, it has also become possible to elect implantation prior to the need for cataract surgery.
Implantation of Multifocal Lenses
Your physician at the Eye Institute will make a small, stitch-less, incision in the front of the eye. Through that small incision, the cloudy cataract will be removed. Then the multifocal implant will carefully be positioned inside the eye to replace the old lens. As there are multiple options for allowing clear vision, your surgeon will select the best technology as it relates to your prescription and visual demands. Depending on the type of technology selected, your surgeon can target good distance and near vision (traditional book reading distance) or good distance and intermediate vision (computer distance). It is important that you work together with your doctor to allow the best result to meet your personal visual demands. A small percentage of patients will notice a glare or halo around lights at night. The Black Hills Regional Eye Institute uses three types of multifocal lenses:
- ReSTOR® Multifocal
- Crystalens® HD Accommodating Lens
- Tecnis® Multifocal
During your personal consultation, one of our physicians will detail the different types of lenses and discuss their unique qualities.