What’s an Implantable Contact Lens?
Inserting an intraocular lens into the eye to correct vision is a well-known and safe procedure in suitable cases.
We can add an artificial intraocular lens to the natural clear lens (called phakic IOL) or as a second intraocular lens in the eye that has previously had intraocular lens implantation (called a piggyback lens).
The additional lens implant is an artificial lens that is implanted close to the natural crystalline lens like the case of myopic patients between 21- 60 years of age.
We call it an implantable contact lens (IOL) because it is very thin and soft like a contact lens. It will stay in the eye and correct your vision until you develop a cataract in later life. Then, we can remove the lens to allow for us to undertake surgery on the cataract.
Alternatively, we can use lenses that clip to your iris (the coloured part of your eye). We clip these on the iris inferno of the pupil to enable vision correction. We can also use these lenses in case of what we refer to as ‘refractive surprise’ or undesirable results after cataract surgery.
In some complicated cataract surgery cases that others referred to us, we have implanted iris clip lenses to successfully restore normal vision.
Recently, we have used special implants to allow multifocality in those patients who had a cataract procedure where the surgeon used a monofocal lens implant. Some patients wish to have multifocality, which means that they are less dependent on glasses. These lenses offer a safe and reliable solution.
I am an experienced surgeon with a lot of knowledge about these types of lenses. I will discuss the best and safest options with you. At Eye Clinic London, we are leaders in advanced corneal treatment, cataract surgery and refractive surgery.
What kind of Intraocular Lens / Implant (IOL) should you have?
A Monofocal IOL will correct either your distance or your near vision. In most cases, people wish to correct their distance vision and are happy to remain wearing reading glasses. Alternatively, you can have two slightly different powered lenses to give you some distance correction and some reading correction. That is called Monovision.
We can simulate monovision through contact lenses. We require you to have a quick trial to see if you can tolerate the difference.
Some people may have certain conditions that would be better served by a Monofocal IOL, for example, due to your occupation, if you have previous eye surgery or have a certain eye or medical condition.
A Multifocal IOL is designed to provide a better range of vision after cataract surgery than standard Monofocal IOL. This works by splitting light enabling you to have multifocal functionality. This functionality can eliminate or reduce your need for glasses completely.
Multifocal IOLs tend to be a popular choice for those with presbyopia (ageing eyes). At Eye Clinic London, we prefer Trifocal lenses and the extended range of vision lenses. Both have proven safety and efficacy. With that said, I will discuss which lens will best suit your eyes, your particular needs and lifestyle with you.
Today you have many types of IOLs to choose from for your cataract treatment depending on your specific needs. In addition to IOLs that can correct short-sightedness and long-farsightedness, there are now Toric IOLs that can correct astigmatism.
Astigmatism is when your cornea is shaped more similar to a rugby ball rather than a round football. If we leave your astigmatism is left uncorrected, it can distort your vision and you will not be entirely satisfied with your cataract surgery results.
Both Monofocal and Multifocal IOLs are available in a Toric type. Toric IOLs work by placing them in a specific position to counter astigmatism.