Cataract Surgery is the most common of all surgeries performed around the world. It consists of the removal of the human natural eye lens which has become cloudy (cataract). The surgeon then places an artificial lens in the eye (intraocular implant) which corrects the optical system following the cataract removal. The cataract develops in the eye of every person with the normal aging process.
In the past, implant choices for cataract patients were very limited and only so-called "regular" or monofocal implants were available. These types of implants, while significantly improving quality of vision after cataract surgery, would not eliminate the dependence on glasses. So, the majority of patients following cataract surgery with regular implants would need glasses for near visual tasks, such as reading and computer use.
One of the most exciting technical developments in eye surgery in recent years was an introduction of "premium" or multifocal lens implants. These implants allow patients to become independent from glasses. In fact, patients who have undergone cataract surgery with placement of premium lens implants report being independent of glasses more than 90 percent of the time.
While with normal aging all of us will need to wear glasses to help our near vision, distance vision or both, there is now a unique opportunity to be independent of glassses following implantation of the premium intraocular lens. It is important to note, however, that not all patients are good candidates for a premium implant. Therefore, I recommend that patients who have cataracts discuss with their eye surgeon in advance of surgery the possibility of using a premium intraocular implant. Submitted by Dr. Albert Smolyar, M.D.