Benefits Of Multifocal Lenses in Cataract Surgery
Monofocal lenses are intraocular lenses that correct only for a particular distance, for example distance alone, while multifocal lenses correct for all distances including
intermediate and near vision as well.
Monofocal lenses are the most commonly used lenses following cataract surgery, but over the past decade or so, the use of multifocal lenses have become a popular trend in vision correction.
What are the benefits of multifocal lenses?
As the name implies, multifocal lenses give you better focus for all distances. This includes better vision with spectacles for distance, reading and also all intermediate distances like computer screens also.
Freedom from spectacles: The benefits of multifocal lenses are many, and the most obvious one is that they are crafted to ensure better vision at all distances. They are useful for all refractive errors, including presbyopia, providing a true freedom from glasses following cataract surgery.
Usually, following a monofocal lens implant the patient still needs glasses for near work, and sometimes also for intermediate distances, as for computer use. Even after getting a lens implant you still required to wear glasses!
In fact, in addition to near and distance vision being perfect, the multifocal lenses also give you good intermediate vision. This means even computer screens are clear without glasses, which implies a truly decreased dependence on glasses.
Multifocal lenses come with the increased comfort from going glasses-free (at least most of the time) which means your participation in outdoor sports like cycling and running and swimming is much easier. There is no attendant problem of glasses slipping off your nose, or the frames getting skewed, and you can enjoy an active lifestyle unencumbered by glasses.
Ability to read cell phone and computer screen without wearing additional glasses is a source of constant delight to anyone who has struggled with presbyopia after forty years of age. Trying to find your glasses to read a text message is often annoying. In fact, more annoying is the need to change glasses for looking at your computer screen. The need for both is taken care of by multifocal lenses.
There is much better and proper depth perception since both eyes are being corrected from distance to near, which means that there are less chances of accidental tripping and falls, which is a real hazard, especially in the elderly. For a more active lifestyle, better depth perception can actually be advantageous in case of all sports including racquet sports, golf etcetera.
What are the disadvantages of multifocal lenses?
These lenses are however, not perfect. It is sensible to consider their drawbacks before deciding to go ahead with choosing an intraocular lens. The following is a list of disadvantages of multifocal lenses that you must be aware of:
Night vision may not be as good as day time vision, especially when driving you may experience some visual disturbances
Some patients also report symptoms of glare and halos around bright lights, which may again be a problem especially during driving at night
You may still need reading glasses, especially in conditions of low light and while reading very small print. For most “normal reading” these glasses will not be needed.
Multifocal lenses are more expensive than monofocal lenses, and are often not covered by insurance.
What is the verdict on multifocal lenses?
Despite this, the benefits of multifocal lenses are far more than there cons. For this reason, multifocal lenses are becoming increasingly popular in toadys day and age, where people are becoming conscious of their quality of life and are happy to pay fror the same.
In fact, most patients who discuss their options with doctors do expect and want an intraocular lens or IOL that offers them complete freedom form glasses. I such a situation, the benefits of multifocal are so self-explanatory that a monofocal lens should not even be considered, unless there is an obvious contraindication to its use.
Suffice to say, multifocal lenses provide many more benefits than drawbacks. If you are still unsure about which IOL to choose for your eyes after cataract surgery, or if you are not convinced about the benefits of multifocal IOLs, talk to your eye surgeon about what you expect after your surgery. He or she will be happy to guide you through the best possible choice for your eyes, depending on your current eye status, as well as visual needs.