Lens implants, also referred to as intraocular lens implants or IOLs, are artificial lens that can be implanted into the eye to replace a malfunctioning natural lens (cornea). While IOLs can be used to correct a variety of vision problems, they are most frequently used in cataract surgery or surgical correction of refractive errors such as presbyopia.
By age 65, over 90 percent of people have a cataract, and half of the people between the ages of 75 and 85 have lost some vision due to a cataract. Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes increasingly opaque. To treat cataracts, the clouded lenses are surgically removed, and a lens implant can be inserted in its place.
Monofocal lenses provide the ability to focus at a single focal point, such as far distance to support vision while driving. Someone with a monofocal IOL will typically wear eyeglasses or contact lenses to have clear vision at other distances, such as near distance while reading or using a computer.
Multifocal lenses give the ability to focus at varying distances. Similarly to a natural lens, multifocal IOLs use different optical powers at different areas of the lens making it possible to see near and far more clearly.
Toric lenses are premium IOLs that can correct refractive errors, such as presbyopia and myopia, as well as astigmatism.