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By the age of 40, most individuals need reading glasses for close vision and most individuals with myopia need bifocals. Multifocal intraocular lens and accommodative intraocular lens (IOLs) make it possible for doctors to offer their patients a range of clearer vision that includes near, distance and intermediate vision. These procedures are most commonly performed on patients who are having cataract surgery. However, multifocal and accommodative IOLs are now also commonly used in patients with clear lenses (patients without cataracts) who are presbyopic (need reading glasses) with refractive errors that are not treated as well with LASIK.


Traditional replacement lenses used in cataract surgery offer clear vision at one point, typically distance. By contrast, these new IOLs offer vision at near, intermediate, and distant points. Multifocal IOLS accomplish this by incorporating several 'rings' that focus at different distances and accommodative lenses do so by moving within the eye. Multifocal and accommodative IOLs reduce or eliminate dependence on distance glasses, bifocals and reading glasses for everyday activities.


An intraocular lens (IOL) is an implanted lens in the eye, usually replacing the existing crystalline lens because it has been clouded over by a cataract, or as a form of refractive surgery to change the eye's optical power. It usually consists of a plastic lens with plastic side struts, called haptics, to hold the lens in place within the capsular bag.

Insertion of an intraocular lens is the most commonly performed eye surgical procedure; cataracts are the most common eye disease. The procedure can be done under local anesthesia with the patient awake throughout the operation which usually takes less than 30 minutes in the hands of an experienced ophthalmologist. The recovery period is about 2-3 weeks. After surgery, patients should avoid strenuous exercise or anything else that significantly increases blood pressure. They should also visit their ophthalmologists regularly for several months so as to monitor the implants.


There are foldable intraocular lenses made of acrylic or silicone which can be rolled up and inserted through a tube with a very small incision not requiring any stitches; inflexible lenses (typically made of PMMA) require a larger incision.


Unlike the natural lens, the curvature of traditional intraocular lenses cannot be changed by the eye. Standard intraocular lenses provide good distance vision and the patient needs reading glasses for near vision.


Vivity lenses give good vision at long and medium distances (such as a computer screen) while maintaining adequate vision for most reading tasks.


IOL implantation carries several risks associated with eye surgeries, such as infection, loosening of the lens, lens rotation, inflammation, nighttime halos, and more reliance on glasses than one hoped for.

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