Q:

What types of IOLs (intraocular lens implants) are available?

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Quick Answer

As of 2015, the most readily available types of IOLs are the traditional monofocal lenses and the more modern multifocal and accommodating IOLs, such as Trulign and Crystalens. Other types include Toric IOLs that correct astigmatism, as well as Aspheric IOLs like the SofPort Advanced Optics IOL.

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Full Answer

Monofocal IOLs only correct the patient’s vision at one distance, which means that she's required to wear glasses to compensate for that limitation. By contrast to Monofocal IOLs, multifocal and accommodating IOLs allow a patient to see properly at multiple distances without the help of contact lenses or glasses. Due to their additional benefits that are not covered by any health care plans, presbyopia-correcting IOLs typically cost more than traditional IOLs.

Toric IOLs were first approved by the FDA in 1998, with Staar Surgical Intraocular Lens being the first IOL of that type available in the United States. Various types of this model correct corneal astigmatism in ranges between 0.83 and 3.5 diopters.

IOLs have been used since the early 1960s, although they were not approved by the FDA until 1981. Before the IOLs were introduced, patients had to wear special contact lenses or thick glasses to be able to see correctly after undergoing a cataract surgery.

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