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Cataract surgery implants

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Q: I will need my cataracts taken out soon, but in doing a little research, I am not sure what kind of implant I should choose. Any recommendations?

A: Most patients are surprised to learn that there are different kinds of implants...and they may be asked to choose. Let’s get the basics...our “natural lens” we are born with becomes cloudy and less clear as we age. Cataract surgery is an outpatient procedure to remove this foggy or discolored lens and replace it with a clear plastic one to be clear, this is inside the eye... right behind the colored iris...not on the front of the eye.

When your lens is impairing your vision to the point it can no longer correct, your eye doctor will refer you to a cataract surgeon for a consultation. Measurements are taken then so the specific implant for you may be ready for your surgery. The implant has a prescription to ideally correct your vision perfectly without glasses. It never does, but it gets very close!

Here is the choice part: implants can be for correcting your distance vision, but not close up reading, or they also they have designs for distance and reading too. Most vision specialists, including me, recommend distance-only implants. Why? Because the idea of having reading vision built-in is ideal... but in reality, many patients choosing that option afterward are disappointed with their distance vision, and changing the implant is not simple.

I advise my patients to choose the distance-only implant so they will have the sharpest possible vision for driving. All post-cataract patients see more perfectly with a new distance glasses correction, it is simple to add the reading power too and make both distances and near vision as crisp as possible. It also costs much less for our patients.