Which lens is right for me?

The only way to treat a cataract is to replace your clouded lens with a new, artificial one called an intraocular lens, or IOL.

Here are four of the most common types of IOLs currently available and what each one is designed to do.

  • Monofocal (single vision) lenses With these, distance vision is usually improved, but most people still need to wear glasses for reading.
  • Astigmatism-correcting lenses (known as toric IOLs) These are specifically designed for patients with astigmatism (a common form of distorted vision caused by an imperfection in the curvature of the cornea or lens of the eye). They offer much-improved distance vision, but people will usually still require glasses for reading.
  • Multifocal lenses These lenses are designed to reduce the need to wear glasses. They exist in bi-focal to focus objects at near and far distances, or trifocal to restore near, intermediate and distance vision.
  • Multifocal toric (astigmatism-correcting) lenses These lenses are also designed to reduce the need to wear glasses. As well as restoring both distance and near vision (and intermediate as well in trifocal lenses), the lens corrects astigmatism to achieve sharper vision.

Your eye care professional should advise you on the pros and cons of the different choices depending on your needs.