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Cataract Treatment: Implanting a New Lens (IOL)



A cataract is clouding of your eye’s lens. Cataracts can be treated with surgery to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a plastic lens called an IOL(intraocular lens). The IOL can be placed either in front of or behind the iris. Your doctor will choose the location based on the condition of the capsule and the type of IOL you will receive. An IOL doesn’t change the appearance of your eye. But it can improve how well you see.

Posterior Chamber Lens

In most cases, an IOL is implanted in the posterior chamber. Flexible loops hold the IOL in place. The posterior capsule also provides support for the IOL.

Anterior Chamber Lens

If the capsule behind the lens is weak or damaged, your eye doctor will place a special lens in the anterior chamber. Small loops hold the IOL in place.

Types of IOLs

An IOL doesn’t change the appearance of your eye. But it can improve how well you see. Your eye doctor will select a new lens to fit your eye and vision needs. IOLs are made in slightly different shapes. In most cases, the IOL will last a lifetime. Talk to your doctor about which lenses are right for you.

  • Special materials.IOLs are made of materials that won’t irritate your eye. These include silicone, acrylic, and PMMA (a type of hard plastic).

  • Foldable lenses. Many IOLs are foldable. This allows them to be inserted through small incisions in the cornea or sclera (the white part of the eye).

  • Multifocal and accommodating lenses. These lenses use advanced technology to improve your range of vision, including up close. For best results, they are put into both eyes.


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