Cataract surgery remains the most frequently performed surgery in the United States and is one of the safest as well. The surgery itself remains unchanged, only the lens technology has improved. Think of the improvement in the quality of your life if you also had quality distance vision after cataract surgery without the hassles of eyeglasses or contacts. Cataract surgery is a once in a lifetime surgery and you are given the opportunity to improve your vision so your choice of vision correction options are among the most important health decisions you’ll ever make.
Good candidates for multifocal or presbyopia-correcting IOLs generally are:
- Easy-going and realistic in their expectations. They are willing to trade such things as some visual distortions, in exchange for reduced dependency on eyeglasses or the possibility of eliminating them altogether.
- Patients with good health and active lifestyles who are looking to reduce or eliminate the need for eyeglasses.
- Patients who need to wear reading glasses and/or have hyperopia(“plus” prescriptions). They tend to have the very best outcomes with multifocal IOLs because of better focusing ability. They also appreciate the near vision improvement they are likely to receive.
- People with high to severe levels of myopia(“minus” prescriptions). These types of patients are so used to extremely blurry vision without eyeglasses that the vision improvement with multifocal IOLs, even with some visual distortions, can be extremely dramatic and appreciated.
The following types of patients should NOT have the multifocal or presbyopia-correcting lens implants:
- Near perfect vision, except for reading glasses, prior to cataract surgery. This may sound strange, but people who have enjoyed great vision all their lives tend to find any kind of visual distortion related to multifocal IOLs unacceptable.
- People with only low to moderate degrees of correction. Again, vision improvements for people in this category may not be significant enough to make up for the possible tradeoff of certain visual distortions associated with multifocal IOLs.
- Patients with ocular disease may not be good candidates.
- Patients who drive at night for a living, or whose occupation or hobbies depend on good night vision.