LASIK may be the most popular way of correcting refractive errors, but it is of no help for people with astigmatism, abnormal cornea, and high refractive errors. For these people, the alternative is lens replacement. Unlike LASIK, lens replacement can correct almost any degree of refractive error so long as suitable prescription lenses are available.
But due to the nature of lens replacement surgery, it is easy to confuse it with cataract surgery. It uses the same successful and familiar techniques, but it differs in use.
Laser replacement surgery replaces your clear natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens. The purpose of the surgery is to correct refractive error and achieve sharper focus. It reduces your need for bifocals and reading glasses.
Laser replacement surgery is ideal for people whose refractive errors cannot benefit from LASIK or PRK. These are people with moderate to severe presbyopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism. Laser replacement may be their only viable option to reduce reliance on glasses and give them clear vision.
Cataract surgery is a procedure that removes the cloudy natural lens in your eye. It replaces it with an artificial, intraocular lens. When your natural lens becomes cloudy, it affects your vision. It also causes glare from lights and hinders the treatment of another eye condition. Cataract surgery will help you deal with this. It is an outpatient procedure, so you will not need to stay in the hospital after surgery.
Apart from technique, cataract surgery and lens replacement use the same three types of intraocular lenses. The use of the lenses depends on your visual needs and eye health. The three intraocular lenses are:
It is an intraocular lens with a fixed focus for one distance. You have to choose between near, mid-range, or far distance. It will give you excellent vision at whatever sight distance you choose. However, you will still need eyeglasses to perform tasks involving other distances.
Most people who opt for monofocal lenses choose to have clear distance vision. That means they will have to use reading glasses for close sight. Those who value reading will prefer to see closer objects to mid-range and distant on their monofocal lenses. Mid-range is for those who prefer using their computers.
These provide vision across varying distances. Due to this, they sacrifice the quality of distance vision. They have multiple overlapping images of near and distant objects. So when choosing an intraocular lens, ask yourself if distance vision is important to you.
If you want to be free of glasses under all lighting environments, multifocal lenses are for you. However, do not expect to have crisp vision.
These IOLs are a more flexible option. They act more like your natural lens by moving or changing their shape inside your eye. It allows them to focus at more than one distance. You are less likely to need reading glasses if you use these lenses.
Although lens replacement surgery and cataract surgery use the same tools and techniques, they are different procedures. One seeks to replace an already cloudy lens, while the other replaces a clear lens to restore vision.
For more information on lens replacement and cataract surgery, visit Coastal Vision at our offices in Chino, Orange, Irvine, or Long Beach, California. You can call (888) 501-4496 today to schedule an appointment.