Regaining Sight: The Miracle of the Intraocular Lens

The intraocular lens implantation is one of the latest developments in eye-care; which is an aspect of health that is easily overlooked in the bustle of daily life. In addition to genetic deficits in quality of sight, increasing UV-damage is also spreading the prevalence of cataracts and deteriorating vision.  Today, cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the world.  During cataract surgery the cloudy, natural lens of the eye is removed and replaced by an artificial, man-made intra-ocular lens (IOL) to restore clear vision.

IOL’s are available in a wide range of powers to compensate for any pre-existing degree of farsightedness or nearsightedness in order to provide good uncorrected vision post-operatively.  The insertion of an intraocular lens is a surgical procedure performed by an experienced ophthalmologist and takes about 30 minutes. A pre-operative consultation and some tests are required to determine whether you are a suitable candidate for IOL implantation, and to determine what IOL type is best for you.

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Monofocal lens
Monofocal IOL’s are designed to correct vision at one focal distance, i.e. either at near, intermediate or far. People who choose monofocal IOL’s will have good distance vision post-operatively, but will continue to use reading glasses for near activities.  Alternatively the dominant eye can be corrected for far vision and the non-dominant eye for near vision.  This is called monovision.

Multifocal or accommodative lenses
This advanced type of IOL can reduce spectacle or contact lens dependency for far and near vision. Using the multifocal lens allows the person to see both near and distant objects clearly. This is the direct result of the multifocal lens’s advanced design – it has a series of focal zones built into the lens itself that focus incoming light in such a way that allows both far and near vision.

Toric IOL for astigmatism
Astigmatism: This eye condition distorts or blurs the ability to see both near and distant objects. With astigmatism the cornea (the clear layer covering the front of the eye) is not perfectly round, but is curved or rugby ball shaped. Astigmatism correction is built into this Toric IOL and is the ideal option for people with varying degrees of astigmatism.

Protective IOL filters
In addition to the above mentioned options, IOL’s  are also available with filters that protect the eyes from harmful UV rays.

If you are over 50 and suffer from cataracts, or if you are simply looking to dispel your dependence on glasses and contact lenses, then IOL implantation could be a viable option for you. The wide variety of options allow you to discuss your specific needs with your ophthalmologist. The idea of eye surgery may be daunting, so it is important to find an eye surgeon that you trust to do the procedure. Intraocular lens implantations in South Africa are becoming progressively more accessible, so take the first step to reclaiming your eyesight by researching intraocular lens implantations in your area to find the closest clinic to you.



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