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Intraocular Lenses & Common Questions

Common questions about Intraocular Lenses

During a cataract procedure, the natural lens of the eye is that has become cloudy, is removed and replaced with a clear man-made lens. These are called Intraocular Lenses or IOLs.

Common questions about Intraocular Lenses

Do I have to have an IOL implanted? 

Yes, for two reasons. Firstly, without the focus power of the IOL, you would need to wear exceptionally thick spectacles to make up for the lost focusing power of the natural lens that became a cataract. Secondly the lens is an important support structure in the eye.

Does the IOL wear out? 

No the IOL is made of a biocompatible plastic. It does not degrade, reject or wear out. You don’t need the cataract procedure repeated every 10 years. The IOL is good for life.

What is the IOL made of? 

Almost all IOLs are made of acrylic. There are two kinds. There is a stiffer hydrophobic acrylic IOL . These are thinner but slightly stiffer and in the past had “glistenings” though not now. Hydrophilic acrylic IOLs are more easily folded to fit through a smaller incision, but in the past could become calcified if there was a manufacturing process fault. This is extremely rare now.

The future for IOLs includes

    1. IOLs that change shape to change focus like the natural lens did when you were young and did not need reading glasses, to provide close vision without an unwanted optical effects.
    2. IOls made from non-acrylic materials that are thin, highy elastic and very very clear, without any risk of glistenings or calcification.