FAQs on Multifocal Intraocular Lens by Dr Parul Sharma- Max Eyecare

What exactly are multifocal intraocular lenses?
Multifocal Intraocular Lenses are those that have multiple points of focus ─ two or more. These lenses allow a person to focus at different distances, both near and far, simultaneously. Distant as well as near vision can be addressed at the same time, thus diminishing or eliminating the need of spectacles or contact lenses.

What are the different options of multifocal lenses to choose from?
You can make your pick from:
  •   Aspheric & Diffractive Multifocal IOL (Such as TECNIS by AMO)
  • Diffractive multifocal IOL (Such as ReSTOR by Alcon Laboratories)
  • Accomadative IOL (Such asCrystalens  by Bausch & Lomb)
  • Refractive multifocal IOL (Such as ReZOOM by Advanced Medical Optics)
How can I be sure whether diffractive/ refractive multifocal IOL is suitable for me?
An eye specialist, after a thorough check-up of your eye(s), will be able to analyse and decide whether you could opt for multifocal lenses or not. The eye surgeon may also take in account your lifestyle, including reading and driving habits, to assert the treatment’s suitability to you.

What are the benefits of diffractive/ refractive multifocal IOL?
Getting multifocal lenses implanted in the eyes during a cataract surgery is a common way of getting rid of glasses. 
Diffractive multifocal lenses will ensure good vision, be it near or far. However, the intermediate vision may vary from person to person. For instance, a person might feel the need to sit closer to the monitor while working on a computer.

The refractive multifocal lens offer outstanding distance and intermediate vision. The near vision may vary and some patients may not be able to read or see anything that is too small.

Are there any disadvantages of diffractive/ refractive multifocal IOL?
There could be a chance that a patient might still require wearing glasses after getting the implants. Around 20% patients who get multifocal lenses might noticeglare and haloes around lights, especially at night. This could lead to discomfort while driving. In majority of cases, patients get accustomed to the changes with time. A person can also usespecial night driving spectacles to control the glare and haloes.

Is there any other option than getting multifocal lenses?
You can go for monofocal lens implantation as a primary alternative to the multifocal ones. Monofocal lenses offer just one point of focus. In that case, you can either get a distant vision lens or near vision lens implanted. You could get these lenses fixed in both the eyes or just one of them as per the need. You could also opt for monovision lenses if you are looking for a near vision implant for one eye and a distant vision one for the other. Other than this, you could talk to the eye surgeon about accommodating lens implants as an alternative to multifocal lenses.

Do I need to wear spectacles after cataract surgery?
If you are getting multifocal lens implants, chances are high that you wouldn’t require glasses anymore. However, the case will not be the same for monofocal lenses because you might need to wear reading glasses even after the surgery. A number of clinical surveys by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have proved that around 85% of patients who got multifocal lens implants felt no need to wear glasses post the surgery. Moreover, low corneal astigmatism and overall health of the eyes are also crucial in deciding if you would need spectacles after cataract surgery and implants or no.

Can I get multifocal lens implant in just one eye?
Yes, you can get multifocal lens implanted in one eye only. However, you could draw maximum benefits of multifocality by getting them in both the eyes.

Can anyone go for multifocal lens implants?
No, not everyone is recommended to get multifocal lens implants. The suitability varies from one person to the other. Those who are affected with ailments related to retina, glaucoma affecting central vision, corneal astigmatism, corneal dystrophies, optic neuropathy, or keratoconus are not advised to get these implants. Also, an eye specialist will assess your condition, requirements and lifestyle before deciding whether getting multifocal lens implants would be beneficial for you or not.

How much time will the recovery processafter cataract surgery?
The recovery process post cataract surgery or after getting monofocal or multifocal lens implants is quick. A patient may resume his or her daily activities within a couple of days after the surgery.  However, it may take some time for the brain to adapt to the new optical system, just like how it is when a person starts wearing a new pair glasses. This neural adaption could take a few weeks or a couple of months all together. But the recipient will eventually get the hang of it and will experience better vision.
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